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City Center Final Adopted PlanAmended: June 12, 2017 and June 25, 2018 City Center Community Plan i Table of Contents 1. Introduction .................................................................................................. 1 Land Use ........................................................................................................ 2 Description of Existing Conditions ............................................................................. 2 City Center Subareas ................................................................................................ 4 City of Renton Comprehensive Plan ......................................................................... 6 Community Planning ................................................................................................. 8 Population ...................................................................................................... 9 Demographics ........................................................................................................... 9 2. Public Outreach and Participation ............................................................ 11 Phase 1: Outreach ...................................................................................... 11 Neighborhood Meetings .......................................................................................... 11 Business Stakeholders ............................................................................................ 12 Summary of Initial Phase of Public Participation..................................................... 12 Phase 2: Public Open Houses ..................................................................... 14 Results of the City Center Vision Priority Dot Exercise ........................................... 15 Summary of Public Meetings ........................................................................ 16 Community Survey ....................................................................................... 20 3. Vision .......................................................................................................... 21 4. City Center Community Plan Elements .................................................... 25 Economic and Community Development ...................................................... 27 Transportation .............................................................................................. 59 Parks, Open Space, and Recreation ............................................................ 89 5. Action Strategy ........................................................................................... 99 Implementation Chart ................................................................................. 100 Conclusion ................................................................................................. 110 Creating a Vibrant Downtown................................................................................ 110 Enhancing Residential Neighborhoods ................................................................. 111 Connecting the City Center ................................................................................... 111 Transportation Plan ............................................................................................... 111 Oversight and Stewardship ........................................................................ 112 PSRC Certification and Consistency .......................................................... 113 Appendix A: Public Participation Results Appendix B: PSRC Reporting Tool – Center Plans ii City of Renton Acknowledgements Mayor Denis Law City Council Terri Briere, Council President King Parker, Council President Pro-tem Randy Corman Marcie Palmer Don Persson Greg Taylor Rich Zwicker Chief Administrative Officer Jay Covington Planning Commission Ed Prince - Chair Michael Drollinger - Vice Chair Michael O'Halloran - Secretary Michael Chen Ray Giometti Gwendolyn High Nancy Osborn Kevin Poole Martin Regge Community & Economic Development Alex Pietsch, Administrator Suzanne Dale Estey, Economic Development Director Chip Vincent, Planning Director Jennifer Davis Hayes, Community Development Project Manager Angie Mathias, Senior Planner - Project Manager Community Services Terry Higashiyama, Administrator Leslie A Betlach, Parks Planning and Natural Resources Director Elizabeth Stewart, Museum Manager Karen E Bergsvik, Human Services Manager Bonnie L Rerecich, Neighborhood Resource and Events Manager Todd Black, Capital Project Coordinator Norma McQuiller, Neighborhood Program Coordinator Police Kevin Milosevich, Chief Timothy L Troxel, Deputy Chief Paul Cline, Commander Fire & Emergency Services Mark Peterson, Chief William J Flora, Deputy Fire Chief Deborah Needham, Emergency Management/Community Risk Reduction Director Public Works Gregg A. Zimmerman, Administrator Richard Perteet, Deputy Public Works Administrator Lys L. Hornsby, Utility Systems Director Jim Seitz, Planning and Program Supervisor Consultants John Owen, MAKERS architecture Dara O’Byrne, MAKERS architecture Larry Toedtli, Transpo Group City Center Community Plan 1 1. Introduction The City of Renton is located in the Puget Sound region of Washington State at the southern end of Lake Washington. Renton’s City Center is located in the heart of the City of Renton. The City Center’s boundaries are generally Lake Washington to the North, I-405 to the south and east, and Lind Avenue SW and Rainier Avenue to the west. The City Center is made up of five geographic areas: the Regional Employment Center, the Regional Retail Cluster, Downtown, Single-Family Residential Neighborhoods, and the North Mixed-Use Area. The City Center is expected to experience considerable growth and change in the next 20 years, in part because of the anticipated growth of the Puget Sound region, but also because a significant portion of the area is a designated Regional Growth Center. This Community Plan is intended to help shape and direct that growth in a way that reflects the vision and desires of the people who live, work, learn, and play in the City Center, while acknowledging the role the City Center plays in the City as a whole, as well as the entire region. This plan is intended to provide a strategy to stimulate economic development, improve the livability of the neighborhoods, preserve the City Center’s unique identity and create community character, prioritize the provision of City services and investment in infrastructure, and provide the public with the opportunity to participate in shaping the future of the City Center. Chapter 1 2 City of Renton Land Use This Community Plan is intended to supplement and further refine the City of Renton’s Comprehensive Plan, adopted November 1, 2004 and updated in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Specifically, the Community Plan builds upon the direction laid out in the Comprehensive Plan’s Land Use element. Where the Community Plan provides specific guidance regarding land uses, the policy language of this plan will govern over the Comprehensive Plan. Description of Existing Conditions The City Center is a unique area that is comprised of diverse activities and land uses ranging from airport industrial uses to regional and local retail districts to single-family neighborhoods. The City Center has numerous public facilities such as parks, trails, and public art; a list detailing these public amenities is included on page 5. In many ways, it is representative of the land uses of the entire Puget Sound region in microcosm. Existing Land Use Chart Parcels Acres Single-family residential 1265 199.5 Multi-family residential 174 109.2 Retail 243 270.1 Office 83 101.1 Government/Institutional 10 40.3 Industrial 34 287.3 Church/Welfare/Religious 12 4.8 Parks, Open Space, Recreation 12 128.5 Hotel/Motel, Other 10 14.5 Parking 86 43.6 Right-of-Way/Utility 16 59.9 Vacant 159 193.0 Air Terminal and Hangars 2 165.7 Miscellaneous 12 11.8 Introduction City Center Community Plan 3 Chapter 1 4 City of Renton City Center Subareas Regional Employment Center The Regional Employment Center consists of businesses that provide jobs, services, and goods in and outside of the City. The Boeing Company’s 737 production facility makes up a large portion of this subarea of the City Center. Paccar and the Renton Municipal Airport are also located in this area. Regional Commercial Cluster The Regional Commercial Cluster is located primarily in the southern portion of the City Center and serves as a retail hub, serving Renton and surrounding cities. This area consists of auto dealerships and other large-scale retail that consumers are generally willing to drive longer distances to reach. Offices and hotels also exist in the cluster. Downtown Downtown Renton is located in the heart of the City Center. It consists of a traditional retail “main street” on S 3rd Street with restaurants and shops and a number of multifamily residential developments. S 3rd Street is also designated as State Route 900. The Metro Transit Center, located at S 2nd Street and Burnett Avenue S, provides regional bus connections for the City Center and the City as a whole. The Renton Pavilion Event Center and Piazza Park border the Transit Center and offer a unique gathering space in the heart of Downtown. The Downtown area is a commercial center, but it is also a residential neighborhood that consists primarily of multifamily developments. Single-Family Residential Neighborhoods The City Center contains four main single-family residential neighborhoods. Monterey Terrace and Renton Hill are separated from the rest of the City Center by I-405 and are therefore not as connected to the activities of the City Center, yet they are reliant upon it for goods, services, and transportation. These two neighborhoods consist primarily of single-family homes. The North Renton Neighborhood, located just north of Downtown, and the South Renton Neighborhood, located just south of Downtown, are two intact residential neighborhoods. These two neighborhoods consist primarily of single-family homes with multifamily residential buildings interspersed. Residents in both the North and South Renton Neighborhoods are well organized and were engaged in this planning process. The Boeing Company’s Renton Plant is one of the large properties that make up the “Regional Employment Center.” Downtown Residential neighborhood Residential neighborhood Introduction City Center Community Plan 5 North Mixed-Use Area Much of this area is a large, newer development called The Landing that consists of large and small-scale retail and multifamily housing. The Landing has become an entertainment destination for people within the City Center and within the City as a whole because of its variety of restaurants and movie theater. The area between The Landing and Lake Washington is also expected to develop as a large scale mixed-use project. Public Amenities The City Center is an area rich with public parks, art, and facilities. Parks like Gene Coulon Memorial Park and the Piazza Park draw visitors from around the region. There are many other parks and recreational opportunities in the area including the City’s Skate Park and The Cedar River Dog Park, an off-leash dog park . Natural amenities, such as the Lake Washington shoreline and the Cedar River, are also attractive public amenities. The City Center contains some of the most iconic public art in the City, such as the statue “Interface” in Gene Coulon Memorial Park. Additionally, the area is home to the Main Library, The Renton History Museum, and City Hall. The public amenities within the City Center are listed below. The Landing. Performing Arts Center. The Landing. Performing Arts Center. City Center Public Amenities Parks and Trails Public Art Burnett Linear Park Balanced Cleaver - Renton Main Library Cedar River Trail Benches – Renton City Hall Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park Bronze Owl - Renton City Hall Jones Park Celebrate the Salmon - Renton Main Library Kiwanis Bicentennial Air Park Chief Sealth – Renton History Museum Liberty Park Chihuly Vase - Renton City Hall Philip Arnold Park Donkey Run Away to the Mines - Tonkin Park Piazza, Downtown Park Equii - Burnett Linear Park Skate Park Fountain & Fountain Features, Piazza, Downtown Park Tonkin Park Homework Comes First - Renton Main Library Veterans Memorial Park Icosahedron - Kiwanis Bicentennial Air Park Interface - Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park Public Facilities Our Adopted Community - City Center Parking Garage Cedar River Boat House Rolling Waters - Skate Park Liberty Park Community Building Stiltwalker - Liberty Park Fire Station #11Summer Breeze - Piazza – Downtown Park Renton History Museum The River - City Center Parking Garage Renton Main Library Trees - Renton Senior Activity Center Renton City Hall Untitled - Fire Station #11 Renton Memorial Stadium Untitled - Renton Main Library Renton Senior Activity Center Untitled - Renton Senior Activity Center Untitled - Renton Senior Activity Center Untitled Fountain - 200 Mill Building We Are All in This Boat Together - Renton Senior Activity Center Wolves at Indian Baskets - Cedar River Trail Chapter 1 6 City of Renton City of Renton Comprehensive Plan The Comprehensive Plan provides policy guidance for the growth and the development of the City as a whole based on a community vision. The City of Renton Comprehensive Plan (Comprehensive Plan) is in compliance with the Growth Management Act (GMA). The GMA requires that Comprehensive Plans include policy direction for land use, housing, capital facilities, utilities, and transportation. The Comprehensive Plan incorporates statewide planning goals, including provisions that discourage urban sprawl, support affordable housing, protect the environment, and support provision of adequate urban services. The Plan is designed to accommodate 20 year growth forecasts, determined by regional agencies and local jurisdictions. Regional or countywide planning has defined regional growth centers in locations where concentrations of people and uses that can be served by transit are desirable. A portion of the City Center is designated a Regional Growth Center, a type of urban center that consist of areas of higher-intensity development and contain a mix of land uses and services. The Comprehensive Plan’s Land Use Element has a section dedicated to Centers, which includes the Regional Growth Center. The stated goal for Centers is to: “Develop well-balanced attractive, convenient, robust commercial, office, and residential development within designated Centers serving the City and the region.” Specifically, the area within the City Center that was defined as the Renton Urban Center is envisioned in the Comprehensive Plan as “the dynamic heart of a growing regional city.” The urban center is expected to “provide significant capacity for new housing in order to absorb the city’s share of future regional growth. This residential population will help to balance the City’s employment population and thereby meet the policy directive of a 2:1 ratio of jobs to housing.” Introduction City Center Community Plan 7 Relevant Comprehensive Plan Goals and Objectives Goal: Develop well-balanced attractive, convenient, robust commercial, office, and residential development within designated Centers serving the City and the region. Objective LU-NN: Encourage a wide range and combination of uses, developed at sufficient intensity to maximize efficient use of land, support transit use, and create a viable district. Objective LU-OO: Implement Renton’s Urban Center consistent with the Urban Centers criteria of the Countywide Planning Policies (CPP) to create an area of concentrated employment and housing with direct service by high capacity transit and a wide range of land uses such as commercial/office/retail, recreation, public facilities, parks and open space. Objective LU-PP. Zone areas within the Urban Center-Downtown designation to provide a vibrant downtown district that provides a mix of high density urban land uses that support transit and the further synergism of public and private sector activities. Objective LU-QQ: Create a balance of land uses that contribute to the revitalization of downtown Renton and, with the designated Urban Center - North, fulfill the requirements of an Urban Center as defined by Countywide Planning Policies. Objective LU-QQ: Encourage the evolution of downtown Renton as a regional commercial district that complements the redevelopment expected to occur in the Urban Center - North. Objective LU-RR: Encourage additional residential development in the Urban Center - Downtown supporting the Countywide Planning Policies definition of Urban Center. Objective LU-SS. Attract large-scale redevelopment of residential and commercial uses in order to implement the Urban Centers criteria of the Countywide Planning Policies to provide housing and jobs. Objective LU-TT: Create a major commercial/retail district developed with uses that add significantly to Renton’s retail tax base, provide additional employment opportunities within the City, attract businesses that serve a broad market area and act as a gathering place within the community. Objective LU-UU: Create an urban district initially characterized by high-quality, compact, low-rise development that can accommodate a range of independent retail, office, research, or professional companies. Support the continuing investment in and transition of low-rise development into more intensive, urban forms of development to support a vital mixed-use district over time. Objective LU-VV: Support ongoing airplane manufacturing and accessory uses. Objective LU-WW: If Boeing elects to surplus property in District Two, land uses should transition into an urban area characterized by high-quality development offering landmark living, shopping and work environments planned to take advantage of access and views to the adjacent river and lake shorelines. For more information, see the City of Renton Comprehensive Plan. Chapter 1 8 City of Renton Community Planning The City’s 2008 amended Comprehensive Plan laid out a community planning process to establish a vision for each geographical subarea within the City. The City’s goal is to include all of the neighborhoods of the City in a Community Plan. The purpose of community planning in the City of Renton is to improve the livability of Renton’s neighborhoods, preserve unique identity and create community character, prioritize the provision of City services and investment in infrastructure, and provide the public with the opportunity to participate in shaping the future of their community. Working with businesses, residents, and other stakeholders, the City will develop Community Plans that address local issues that are more specific than what is included in the Comprehensive Plan and work to enhance that which the community values. All Community Plans will anticipate and accommodate future growth and must be consistent with the overall Comprehensive Plan and the Washington State Growth Management Act. Community Plans will strive to incorporate other planning initiatives, such as the Trails and Bicycle Master Plan, Museum Master Plan, and transportation planning efforts. The Community Planning Areas Map (shown to the left) has been adopted to show ten Community Planning Areas in the City of Renton and its Potential Annexation Area. While the City Center is just one of ten Community Planning Areas within the City, the City began the community planning effort with the City Center, in part, because of its important role as a Regional Growth Center. Another reason the planning effort began with the City Center is because the area plays a unique and important role within the City. The area has regional employers, regional commercial businesses, regional parks that provide recreational opportunities, natural features that provide open space, and civic events, all of which serve as a magnet that draws people to the City Center. Introduction City Center Community Plan 9 Population Demographics The City of Renton is the 9th most populous city in Washington state, and the fifth most populous in King County. As of 2010, the population of the City was approximately 90,927 people. In order to envision the City Center 20 years from now, it is important to first understand the current conditions. The following demographic data is projected from the 2000 census. Who lives in the City Center? The approximate population in the City Center is 7,281 (8% of the city’s total population). The median age of people living in the City Center in 2010 was 40.8, with a fairly even distribution between age groups (see chart to the right). In 2009, 66% of the City Center population was white, 11.5% was Asian or Pacific Islander, and 11% was black. The estimated average household income in the City Center in 2010 was $65,776 while the median household income in 2010 was $49,972. What do they do? Fifty-eight percent of the people who live in the City Center have white collar jobs, 19% have service related jobs, and 22% have blue collar jobs. Unfortunately, many residents of the City Center do not work in the City Center. 62% of the workers commute alone in automobiles, 17% carpool, 9% take public transportation to get to work, 7% walk to work, and 2% work from home. The commute time for people who live in the City Center is approximately 27 minutes. Where do they live? There are approximately 3,184 total housing units in the City Center. Of those housing units, approximately 33% are owner occupied, 58% are renter occupied, and 9% are vacant. Approximately 38% of the housing units are single family detached homes and 45% of the units are in buildings with five or more units. 58% of the residential structures in the City Center were built before 1969. Commercial There are approximately 1,112 businesses located in the City Center with approximately 11,257 employees. Approximately 40% of those businesses are in the service industry, 27% are retail, and 11% are in the finance, insurance, or real estate industry. Chapter 1 10 City of Renton Growth Projections The City Center is a designated Regional Growth Center and is identified as such by the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) in their February 2008 Vision 2040 report. According to PSRC, Regional Growth Centers are types of Urban Centers that consist of areas of higher-intensity development and contain a mix of land uses and services. PSRC assigns a certain level of growth that Regional Growth Centers need to accept by 2040. The overall adopted growth targets for the City of Renton are 14,835 new housing units and 28,700 new jobs. Because the City Center is a designated Regional Growth Center, it is anticipated that a significant portion of that growth will occur in the City Center area. This plan sets forth goals, policies, and implementation strategies to ensure the City Center can accept the projected growth in a way that is compatible with the vision of the community. City Center Community Plan 11 2. Public Outreach and Participation As part of the community planning process laid out in the City’s Comprehensive Plan, the City worked with residents, business leaders, employees, and property owners to understand their needs and desires to improve the City Center. In Phase 1 of the public outreach, City staff and consultants attended a number of neighborhood meetings to solicit feedback. In Phase 2, the City held a number of public meetings to solicit input on the Community Plan. Phase 1: Outreach Neighborhood Meetings The City solicited feedback from community residents at two different community meetings. The first opportunity to solicit feedback was at the North Renton community picnic at Jones Park on July 29, 2009 and the second opportunity was on August 12, 2009 at the Piazza. At both meetings, the City set up a booth where community members could chat with City staff and consultants about what they like and don’t like about their neighborhood and the City Center as a whole. Participants were asked the following questions:  What do you like about your neighborhood?  What would you like to see changed about your neighborhood?  What do you like about the City Center?  What would you like to see changed about the City Center? North Renton Community Picnic – July 29, 2009 Chapter 2 12 City of Renton As residents gave responses, the consultants wrote their responses down and drew quick sketches representing the concepts. These diagrams and ideas were then put on display for all community members to see and comment. After the meetings were over, all of the comments were recorded and summarized. For detailed results of these meetings, please see Appendix A. Business Stakeholders The City also solicited feedback from the City Center business community and property owners in two meetings, one held on September 2, 2009 and the other held on September 18, 2009. These meetings consisted of a brief introduction and overview presentation of the City Center Community Plan and were followed by a roundtable discussion of the business community’s concerns and visions for the City Center. The detailed results of these meetings can be seen in Appendix A. Summary of Initial Phase of Public Participation 1. The City Center has many strengths and assets  Regional employment base that any emerging city would envy  An active Downtown  Thriving neighborhoods (people really like living in the neighborhoods)  A broad spectrum of retail activities appealing to a regional, city- wide and local base  Several (hidden) attractions – Cedar River, Piazza  Public art investments by the City and other community groups 2. There are issues and opportunities that should be addressed  Create a better identity for the City Center  Improve connections and circulation between the different activity centers in the City Center (e.g. The Landing, Downtown)  Protect the neighborhoods from intrusive development  Upgrade both real and perceived security, safety, maintenance and environmental quality problems in the neighborhoods and Downtown  Increase the “energy” in the Downtown business community  Improve regional transportation connections to support the employment base and regional retail activities  The City Center’s most people friendly places and attractions are hidden in the center of the area without visible and direct access to highways. “Renton’s City Center is a well kept secret,” was a comment heard in an outreach meeting. Results and pictures from neighborhood meetings. Public Outreach and Participation City Center Community Plan 13 3. Improvement ideas and suggestions  Keep through-traffic out of Downtown  Determine a preferred route for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and light rail service  Continue to implement the pedestrian and bicycle plans  Create gateways at key entry points into the City Center  Re-evaluate the value/necessity of the one-way street system  Coordinate and consolidate regional retail activities in the south end of the City Center  Support The Landing’s development and better connect it to other parts of the city  Explore options for creating a multi-modal spine on Park Avenue with streetscape improvements  Make a special effort to improve the identity and perception of the City Center, especially regarding safety in the Downtown  “Naturalize” the Cedar River and improve access to leverage this key asset  Improve and use the BNSF right-of-way  In the long term, connect the Cedar river and Coulon Park with a shoreline trail  Adjust zoning to reflect existing single family nature of the neighborhoods  Undertake a neighborhood improvement program to address issues such as safety, security, property maintenance, local services, and pea patch.  Establish (or strengthen) a Downtown business improvement group Summary  Build on the strengths of the employment and regional retail base  Give high priority to circulation and connection improvements as they are necessary to support most of the other actions  Continue to work on the City Center’s identity and visibility  Assist neighborhoods and the Downtown with a broad spectrum of support and self-help programs to address security, housing preservation, neighborhood services, and compatibility of new development. Adjust zoning to support single-family neighborhoods  Plan for near and long-term opportunities such as transit system development, railroad ROW disposition, and potential large- scale changes in land use. Results and pictures from neighborhood meetings. Chapter 2 14 City of Renton Phase 2: Public Open Houses On October 17, 2009 the City held a public open house at Renton High School. The City also offered a second opportunity for public input on the evening of November 12, 2009 at the Renton History Museum. Valuable input was received at both meetings. Based on the feedback from the earlier community and business meetings, the City and consultant team put together a series of proposals for the City Center, broken into four key categories: transportation, economic and community development, neighborhoods, and parks and greenspace. These proposals were portrayed on a series of maps and participants were able to rank the proposals on individual comment forms. An overall vision map was also on display and participants were able to rank their top priorities with a dot exercise (see the following page). In general, participants were supportive of the proposals portrayed on the maps during the two open houses. Detailed results from these Open Houses are incorporated into the Framework Plan Elements and can be seen in Appendix A. Community members evaluate alternatives at the October 17 Open House. Public Outreach and Participation City Center Community Plan 15 Results of the City Center Vision Priority Dot Exercise Support the Regional Employment Center by improving regional transportation access, providing for employees’ needs, and providing necessary utilities   Enhance the Regional Retail Cluster    Continue to enhance Downtown                  Provide additional space for small-scale, local retail   Retain single-family character of residential areas    Integrate North Mixed-Use Area  Initiate a City-sponsored traffic calming program and improve safety (and perception of safety)        Enhance gateways entering the City Center, improve visibility of Downtown, and implement a wayfinding system   Create a node to focus civic facilities, enhance identity, and connect the City Center          Pursue possibility of future water taxi   Connect the City Center with pedestrian, bike, transit, and streetscape improvements on Park Avenue N      Focus arterial traffic on Logan   Work with WSDOT to direct regional through-traffic to I-405  Consider potential route for future BRT/LRT line       Consider future streetcar line      Proposed Trail (including long-term goal of connecting Coulon Park to Cedar River and connecting the Cedar River Trail to the Green River Trail)                   Preserve train tracks as rail and trail corridor         In the long term, enhance natural environment on the shoreline of Lake Washington and the Cedar River  Chapter 2 16 City of Renton Summary of Public Meetings Based on what was heard at the public meetings, there are eight key findings with associated goals for the City Center. The goals will help guide the Community Plan. 1. The best parts of the City Center are hidden. Many people that do not live or work in the City Center are not aware of the many amenities that the City Center has to offer. The City Center and Downtown are not visible and identifiable from the regional transportation corridors, such as I-405, that surround the City Center, so many people are not even aware that it exists. In addition, the City Center struggles with negative perception issues such as crime. The distinct districts within the City Center do not form a cohesive identity; therefore the City Center does not have a clear identity to which people can relate. Goal 1: Improve the visibility of the City Center and Downtown, improve the perception of the City Center, and create a distinct identity. 2. The City Center has a diverse economic base and provides a good environment for small and large businesses. Participants in the business stakeholder meetings agreed that the City of Renton, and the City Center in particular, is a great place to do business. Stakeholders also discussed a number of things the City could work on to continue to improve the business environment for both employers and employees, including transportation improvements, creating a clear vision and identity for the City Center, and improving safety and the perception of safety. Goal 2: Continue to support Renton’s diverse economic sectors. Public Outreach and Participation City Center Community Plan 17 3. Downtown has the potential to be a much more vibrant civic center, but the City’s existing civic amenities must be more visible and accessible. In particular, the Main Library, the Renton History Museum, the Cedar River and Cedar River Trails, and Liberty Park are all located in close proximity to each other and could form a cohesive civic activity node if accessibility and visibility of these amenities were improved. Goal 3: Improve access and visibility at this important concentration of civic activities including Liberty Park, the Main Library, the Renton History Museum, and the Cedar River to create a dynamic civic node in Downtown. 4. The City Center’s residential neighborhoods are strong and cohesive. The residential neighborhoods located in the City Center are strong residential neighborhoods whose citizens are well- informed and involved in community activities. Residents value their homes and their location within the City Center and are energized about improving the City Center. These neighborhoods have a connectedness to local businesses and provide important support for economic development within the City Center. Goal 4: Protect and enhance the residential neighborhoods in the City Center. Chapter 2 18 City of Renton 5. The City Center serves as a regional employment and retail base and has a central location, but can be difficult to access due to traffic and connectivity issues. The City Center plays an important role in terms of regional employment and retail, but it can be difficult to reach. Transit improvements and improvements to I-405 interchanges would greatly improve access and connectivity for the City Center. Focusing through-traffic on I-405 and arterials will also help reduce traffic congestion on streets in the heart of the City Center. Goal 5: Provide better regional transportation connections for a range of transportation modes to improve access to and from the City Center. 6. The City Center has a number of distinct activity centers and attractions, but they are not well connected. It is difficult to get from Lake Washington to South Renton Neighborhood by car, transit, or foot. The City Center consists of distinct destination areas including Boeing, Lake Washington, The Landing, North Renton neighborhood, Downtown, South Renton neighborhood, and the regional retail area at the southern end of the City Center. Throughout the public participation process, participants mentioned that the City Center needs to be better connected especially from The Landing to Downtown or from the North Renton to South Renton neighborhoods. Currently, the existing street grid can be confusing for people who are not familiar with the one-way streets and the complex intersections. It is critical that improvements be made not only for vehicular traffic, but for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit. This includes improving pedestrian connections between key areas within the City Center, improving pedestrian safety on sidewalks and at intersections, and improving the pedestrian environment to make walking an appealing mode of transportation in the City Center. Goal 6: Provide better internal connections between areas within the City Center, especially Coulon Park/Lake Washington, The Landing, North Renton neighborhood, Downtown, and the South Renton neighborhood. Public Outreach and Participation City Center Community Plan 19 7. The City Center is adjacent to several regional trails, but they are not well connected in the City Center. The City Center lies at the crossroads of the Green River, Cedar River, Interurban, and Lake-to Sound-Trails, all of which extend for miles throughout the region. The necessary connections through the City Center, however, have not been made. Connecting these trails would make the City Center a prominent (if not primary) hub of the region’s trail system and could attract thousands of trail users annually. This, in turn, could substantially enhance the City Center’s identity and have a positive impact on economic development. The City has completed a great deal of planning work to layout future connections including the Lake-to-Sound Trail Feasibility Study and the City’s Trails and Bicycle Master Plan. The City should continue to work to implement those plans. Goal 7: Connect regional trails in the City Center and build on these key connections as an economic development strategy. 8. The City Center’s natural features and open space make it a unique place to live, work, learn, and play. The Lake Washington shoreline and the Cedar River provide the City Center with excellent natural amenities that many public participants mentioned as being very important to the quality of life in the City Center. In particular, people mentioned the need to improve the natural habitat and environment of these areas. Existing parks and open spaces also provide natural features within the City Center. Goal 8: Protect and enhance the natural features and open space in the City Center and improve public access to and connections between the Lake Washington shoreline, the Cedar River, and the variety of parks and open spaces throughout the City Center. Chapter 2 20 City of Renton Community Survey At the end of the first phase of the City Center Community Plan, an online survey was created to receive feedback on the goals and policies in the draft plan. Over 160 people responded to the survey. Of the 160 responses, over 70% of respondents felt the key issues were identified in the draft plan and 92% of the respondents felt that if the eight goals were accomplished, the City Center would be improved. 80% or more of the respondents felt that each goal was very or somewhat important. Respondents also provided new ideas to be included in the plan, such as a focus on historic preservation and universal accessibility. They also provided feedback on draft vision statements and had an opportunity to create their own vision statement. The vision statement that got the most positive feedback was: “Renton’s City Center: To Live, To Work, To Enjoy” 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% 100.0% How Important Are the City Center Community Plan Goals? Very/Somewhat Important Neutral Not Very/Not Important City Center Community Plan 21 3. Vision The vision for the City Center fits within the larger Citywide vision which is: “Renton – The center of opportunity in the Puget Sound Region where families and businesses thrive.” In the City of Renton, urban living provides both choice and balanced opportunities for residents; employment and housing, recreation and religion, goods and services, are all available in the community. Based on the feedback received from the public during the development of this community plan and the goals and policies set forth in the Comprehensive Plan, the vision for the City Center is: “Renton’s City Center: To Live, To Work, To Enjoy” In the year 2030, the City Center is a cohesive, identifiable urban center where people live, work, learn, play, and visit. The City Center is the focal point of the City, with the City of Renton as a regional center in the triangle of cities on Lake Washington: Seattle, Bellevue, and Renton. Large businesses help Renton retain its identity as one of the region’s most important employment centers and smaller businesses continue to add the innovation and diversity necessary for a vital economy. The City Center Vision. Chapter 3 22 City of Renton The City Center features a broad spectrum of retail businesses. The regional retail cluster continues to attract shoppers from around the region and is better connected to the rest of the City Center. Downtown caters to both the City Center residents for their everyday needs and to the larger city/regional population for specialty and entertainment services. The North Mixed-Use Area has expanded to the waterfront and offers both large scale stores and smaller “lifestyle” oriented services. The City Center’s central location, easy access, and amenities have attracted a diverse, growing residential population. Residents enjoy a wide range of housing opportunities from solid, historic single family neighborhoods to new condos offering lakefront views and an active urban lifestyle. The older neighborhoods in particular, with their quiet streets and well kept houses, are attractive to young families and include schools and parks facilities for children. In terms of transportation, “All modes lead to the City Center Renton.” Building on the early successes of the late 20th century transit center, the City Center is linked to the rest of the region with high capacity transit. It is also a hub in the region’s bicycle trail network. The City Center is characterized by five distinct areas that are well connected by transit and a street network that includes pedestrian and bike connections. As for internal circulation, the Park Avenue N spine provides a cohesive, attractive link for pedestrians, transit, and local traffic from South Renton to Lake Washington and Coulon Park. Parks and natural areas area a prominent feature in the City Center. Cutting diagonally across the Center, the Cedar River Trail, with a naturalized shoreline, ample open space, attractive promenade, and appropriate commercial amenities provides a backbone of green infrastructure. A new concentration of civic facilities and open spaces in the Library/Liberty Park/Main Avenue vicinity now comprise the city’s civic and cultural heart, and trail connections further link local parks and amenities into an integrated network. In short, Renton can boast that more than any other city of its size, the City Center has it all. Another, more action-oriented way to state this vision is through the goals presented below, which are the result of this plan’s public participation activities. Broad spectrum of businesses. Growing residential population. Regional employment center. Multimodal transportation. Parks and natural areas. Vision City Center Community Plan 23 The City Center Goals Goal 1: Create a distinct identity for the City Center, as well as improve the visibility and perception of the area. Goal 2: Continue to support Renton’s diverse economic sectors. Goal 3: Improve access and visibility of the concentration of civic activities including Liberty Park, the Library, the Renton History Museum, and Cedar River to create a dynamic civic node in Downtown. Goal 4: Protect and enhance the residential neighborhoods in the City Center. Goal 5: Provide better regional connections for the full range of transportation modes to improve access to and from the City Center. Goal 6: Provide better connections between areas within the City Center. Goal 7: Promote and support the expansion of and improve access to regional trails in the City Center and build on these key connections as an economic development strategy. Goal 8: Protect, enhance, and improve access to the natural features and open space in the City Center including Lake Washington, the Cedar River, and its many parks and open spaces throughout the City Center. Chapter 3 24 City of Renton City Center Community Plan 25 4. City Center Community Plan Elements This plan sets the framework for actions to be taken by the City to achieve the vision for the City Center over the next 20 years. In order to accomplish these actions, a myriad of public and private partnerships will need to be made, the public will need to be engaged, and business and property owners will need to take initiative. The actions are separated into three main categories: Economic and Community Development, Transportation, and Parks, Open Space, and Recreation. Each category has goals and occasionally sub-goals, which were established through the public participation visioning process. Each goal is then followed by a series of policies that set the framework for achieving the goal. Each policy is followed by an implementation strategy that includes additional details, the responsible party for implementation, the necessary resources for implementation, strategies for engaging the public, and a general timeframe for the City to implement the policy. The format is set up as follows: Goal Sub Goal 1.1: Policy 1.1.1: Implementation Strategy Additional Details: Responsible Party: Resources: $: $0-$10,000; $$: $10,000-$50,000; $$$: $50,000- $100,000; $$$$: $100,000-up Public Involvement: Timeframe: Short-term: 1-3 yrs; Mid-term: 4-10 yrs; Long-term: 10-20 yrs Lake Washington from Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park Chapter 4 26 City of Renton Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 27 Economic and Community Development Goal 1: Create a distinct identity for the City Center, as well as improve the visibility and perception of the City Center. 1.1 Improve the overall visual character of the City Center. Currently, the City Center does not have a distinct visual character that allows people to identify it as a cohesive area. In some cases, unmaintained buildings take away from the visual appeal of the City Center. In addition, the area is not visible or identifiable from the major regional corridors that surround the City Center or from Lake Washington. Updating design standards for private development and creating design standards for the public realm are two key strategies to improve the overall perception and image of the City Center. 1.1.1: Update existing design standards for the City Center to ensure new development will fulfill the vision. Additional Details: Update the design standards that apply to all the different sub-areas within the City Center to ensure new development fulfills the vision of a more attractive, cohesive, and vibrant City Center. Particular attention should be given to design standards for infill development and for transition areas between zones. Perform an audit on existing guidelines for the North Mixed-Use Area to identify areas that should be updated and to ensure existing standards are being enforced. The twenty-year development agreement with the Boeing Company should be recognized. Consider tightening non-conforming regulations for signs and edge/screening/landscaping treatments. While the guidelines or standards would only apply to new development or redevelopment, the City could provide incentives to existing businesses to incorporate some elements. Responsible Party: Lead: Planning; Support: Economic Development, Community Services Resources: $ Public Involvement: Work with residents and business and property owners. Timeframe: Short-term Chapter 4 28 City of Renton 1.1.2: Create cohesive urban design standards for the public realm that include standards for gateways, wayfinding, street trees, street lighting, pedestrian-scaled lighting, landscaping, street furniture, utilities and public art. Additional Details: These design standards will help create a distinct look for the City Center. There may be different standards for each area within the City Center, but they should complement each other to create a cohesive look for the City Center. The design standards should include specifications for each urban design feature. Build on the existing Downtown wayfinding system (discussed in 1.1.4). Opportunities for Low Impact Development techniques such as rain gardens and bioswales in these public areas should be pursued. Responsible Party: Lead: Planning; Support: Transportation, Community Services, Utilities, Economic Development, Fire & Emergency Services Resources: $$ Public Involvement: The City should work with constituents from each area within City Center to determine the design standards for each area and the City Center as a whole. Timeframe: The design standards and specifications should be determined in the short-term. The urban design features will be implemented over time, as development occurs. The City Center needs streetscape design standards that include standards for pedestrian-scaled lighting, street trees, landscaping, street furniture, and public art. Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 29 1.1.3: Create a distinctive gateway design standard to be implemented at key locations throughout the City Center. Additional Details: Gateway signs or features would help signify when people are entering or leaving the City Center so they can begin to identify the City Center as a distinct place. The gateways can be features such as distinctive landscaping, artwork, lighting, signage or a combination thereof. The gateway features should be coordinated with the Downtown wayfinding program (discussed in 1.1.4) to ensure a consistent and less cluttered approach. The City should create design specifications and designate specific locations for the desired gateways. Bronson Way and Rainier Avenue/Grady Way are key entries into Downtown that would benefit from some special gateway and street- scape treatments. Gateways will be installed as development occurs. Responsible Party: Lead: Planning; Support: Community Services, Transportation, Economic Development, Renton Municipal Arts Commission Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Engage the general public including residents and business and property owners in public meetings to present proposed locations for gateway features. Timeframe: Short-term; gateways will installed as development occurs 1.1.4 Build on the City’s proposed wayfinding system for Downtown and extend it throughout the City Center. Additional Details: The City of Renton already has a wayfinding program designed and partially implemented for Downtown Renton. This program could be expanded to include the other areas of the City Center. The signs and maps could differ slightly in color or design depending on which area of the City Center they are in, but the overall theme and design should be consistent to tie the whole the City Center together. The wayfinding system should be coordinated with the gateways (discussed in 1.1.3) and the urban design standards for the public realm (discussed in 1.1.2). The wayfinding features, gateway features, and directional cues should work together to facilitate the movement between sub- areas and reduce the visual clutter of signs. Downtown’s existing wayfinding system. Chapter 4 30 City of Renton Responsible Party: Lead: Economic Development; Support: Planning, Transportation, Community Services Resources: $$ Public Involvement: The City should work with constituents from each area within City Center to determine the wayfinding design for each area and the City Center as a whole. Timeframe: The design standards and specifications for wayfinding should be determined in the short-term. The urban design features will be implemented over time, as development occurs. 1.1.5: Work to implement the recommendations from the Arts and Culture Master Plan to expand the presence of art, art activities, and art facilities in the City Center. Additional Details: The Arts and Culture Master Plan is a 5-year plan that was adopted by City Council on August 9, 2010. The Renton Municipal Arts Commission is responsible for facilitating the implementation of the plan. Art can be incorporated into the gateway and wayfinding features discussed above. New development should be encouraged to incorporate local artwork in plazas, on blank walls, and along the street. The City should pursue opportunities such as including public art in new and remodeled developments through public/private partnerships. One project that is currently being explored is an artistic lighting of the bridges over the Cedar River. Responsible Party: Lead: Economic Development, Renton Municipal Arts Commission; Support: Planning Resources: $ - $$$$ Public Involvement: The Renton Municipal Arts Commission works in partnership with other community members to begin implementation of the plan. Timeframe: On-going. The Renton Municipal Arts Commission is responsible for implementation. The City of Renton’s Arts and Culture Master Plan is an action plan for creating a thriving creative sector. Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 31 1.1.6: Create a building improvement program for buildings within the City Center. Additional Details: The City should work with financial institutions to consider developing a building improvement program that identifies low-interest loans or grants to improve building facades and other improvements to help stimulate reinvestment in properties and to address building maintenance concerns. A target area should be the City Center’s historic downtown core. The City should pursue federal and state funds to help fund the low-interest loans or pursue other funding opportunities. The building improvement program should also focus on improving the structural safety of buildings. All unreinforced masonry and seismic hazards should be identified for improvement. The building improvement program should provide incentives for replacing and improving unsafe structures. Responsible Party: Lead: Economic Development; Support: Planning, Fire & Emergency Services Resources: $$$ Public Involvement: Work with financial institutions to identify low- interest loans and with business and property owners in the downtown core to develop the program. Timeframe: Mid-term. 1.1.7: Underground utilities as development occurs. Additional Details: Removing utility poles and overhead wires will significantly improve the visual character of the City Center. All new development within the City Center is required to underground utilities. To get utilities underground in areas that are not likely to redevelop in the near future, the City should work with property owners to underground utilities as street improvement projects occur. The BID/LID (discussed in 2.2.1) could also work to underground utilities in Downtown. Responsible Party: Lead: Utilities; Support: Planning, Economic Development Resources: $$$ Public Involvement: Work with business and property owners in the downtown core. Timeframe: Mid-term; private property owners and developers will initiate undergrounding utilities. Chapter 4 32 City of Renton 1.2 Preserve and maintain important historic features in the City Center to enhance the identity of the City Center. The City Center has important historic features, both land forms and buildings, which are important to the quality and character of the City Center and the city as a whole. These features should be preserved, maintained, and enhanced as new growth occurs. 1.2.1: Consider adopting an historic preservation ordinance that would protect significant historic features throughout the City Center. Additional Details: The ordinance should put regulations and incentives in place for the documentation, potential protection, maintenance, and enhancement of historic features. Responsible Party: Lead: Planning; Support: Community Services, Renton History Museum, Economic Development Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Solicit public feedback from the general public on the ordinance. Timeframe: Mid-term 1.2.2: Coordinate with the Museum Master Plan. Additional Details: The Museum Master Plan provides a vision for the Renton History Museum’s next 15 years as the only local heritage organization in Renton. Responsible Party: Lead: Renton History Museum; Support: Economic Development, Planning Resources: $ Public Involvement: Museum staff will continue to work with the Renton Historical Society Board of Trustees, volunteers, stakeholders, and the general public to implement the plan. Timeframe: Long-term. The Museum Master Plan is a 15-year plan. The Renton History Museum and Renton Historical Society Board of Trustees should initiate implementation. Renton’s history is an important part of its identity. The Renton History Museum Master Plan provides a vision for the museum for the next 15 years. Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 33 1.3 Improve overall safety in the City Center. The City should continue to improve safety in the City Center by focusing on crime prevention, emergency management planning, and fire prevention. The City should work with business leaders and property owners, neighborhood groups, Fire and Emergency Services, and the Renton Police Department to come up with targeted strategies to address both real and perceived crime and emergency preparedness. Some strategies may be targeted police activities while others may be more community-based approaches where business members and residents work together to solve problems. 1.3.1: Continue efforts to provide a coordinated crime prevention program for Downtown and the City Center as a whole to address crime (both real and perceived). Additional Details: Work with business owners, property owners, residents, human service organizations, and the Police Department to develop the program. The crime prevention program should have an implementation strategy that clearly indicates who is responsible for implementing each strategy. Continue to place special emphasis on the Transit Center with policing strategies, such as the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit which conducts outreach Business Watch Services to businesses near the Transit Center. Human Services and non-profit organizations should also be engaged to address issues such as homelessness that also impact the perceptions of safety. Other services and programs offered by the Crime Prevention Unit should continue to be strengthened and be provided Downtown, such as security surveys, crime prevention training for managers and employees, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) recommendations to property owners, Crime Resistant Multi-Family Housing consultations, a Bank Watch group, and quarterly Business Watch newsletters. This strategy should be coordinated with the proposed Downtown Business Improvement District or Local Improvement District (discussed in 2.2.1) Responsible Party: Lead: Police; Support: Economic Development, Community Services, Human Services, Planning. Resources: $$ The City should continue to focus policing strategies at the Transit Center. Safety can be enhanced using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) measures such as guidelines to “keep eyes on the street.” Chapter 4 34 City of Renton Public Involvement: Continue to engage business owners, property owners, and residents with human service organizations and the Police Department. Timeframe: Short-term 1.3.2 Continue to work with neighborhood groups to strengthen community policing and neighborhood crime watch programs to improve the overall safety (and the perception of safety) and reduce crime in the City Center neighborhoods. Additional Details: The Police Department and other city departments should continue to work with community groups, business owners, and property owners to come up with a targeted strategy for improving safety. The Police Department is currently working with the North and South Renton Neighborhood associations on the block watch program. The Police Department should continue to strengthen this program and should continue to foster their relationships with community members. Responsible Party: Lead: Police; Support: Community Services, Economic Development, Planning Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Continue to work with residents and neighborhood groups Timeframe: On-going. 1.3.3 Improve pedestrian-scaled lighting on streets and trails in the City Center. Additional Details: In order to improve safety for pedestrians throughout the City Center, the City needs to invest in pedestrian-scaled lighting on streets and trails. The lights should be attractive, distinctive, and consistent throughout the City Center to help with wayfinding to identify key pedestrian routes to connect various parts of the City Center (discussed in 1.1.2 and 1.1.4). Lighting for trails, such as the Cedar River Trail, should match the style of lights on streets and sidewalks. Specifically, pedestrian- scaled lighting should be added to areas such as parking and activity areas, the access road that extends beyond the City Center planning area from Liberty Park to Renton Community Center (RCC), and the pedestrian walkway from RCC to the off-leash dog park. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Community Services, Economic Development, Planning Neighborhood meeting participants stressed the desirability of pedestrian lights, especially on riverfront trails. Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 35 Resources: $$$$ Public Involvement: Continue to work with neighborhood groups. Timeframe: Long-term. 1.3.4 Continue to implement emergency management strategies throughout the City Center to ensure the area is prepared for natural disasters and other emergencies. Additional Details: The Fire and Emergency Services department should continue to work to prepare this area for emergency response. Responsible Party: Lead: Fire & Emergency Services Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Work with community members, businesses, and property owners to educate them on emergency management and to implement strategies. Timeframe: On-going. Goal 1 Summary: Create a distinct identity for the City Center, as well as improve the visibility and perception of the City Center. 1.1 Improve the overall visual character of the City Center. 1.2 Preserve and maintain important historic features in the City Center to enhance the identity of the City Center. 1.3 Improve overall safety in the City Center. Chapter 4 36 City of Renton Goal 2: Continue to support Renton’s diverse economic sectors. 2.1 Continue to support opportunities to create a more vibrant City Center where people live, work, learn, and play. In order to foster a City Center that is vibrant, new opportunities that attract people and businesses to the City Center should be sought, and existing efforts to recruit and retain businesses, to fill vacancies, and create retail opportunities should be supported. Continue to work with business leaders, property owners, employers, and employees to better understand their needs and concerns. Continue economic development efforts, including business retention, expansion, and recruitment strategies to ensure a dynamic, diversified employment base. 2.1.1: Implement the City’s Economic Development Strategic Plan Additional Details: The City’s Economic Development Strategic Plan emphasizes recruiting and retaining businesses to ensure a dynamic, diversified employment base. The City and its partners should work with The Boeing Company and other aerospace companies to increase the number of aerospace industry jobs in Renton. Additionally, the City should continue to aggressively recruit new high-profile and high-wage employers to locate in Renton, while working with existing employers to retain and expand the number of jobs in the community. Responsible Party: Lead: Economic Development Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Existing businesses, Chamber of Commerce Timeframe: Short-term Artist rendering of a vibrant urban scene at The Landing. Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 37 2.1.2: Continue to improve incentives that encourage investment and employment in the City Center. Additional Details: The City has a number of existing advantages for businesses over surrounding jurisdictions, including no local Business and Operating taxes, which should be better packaged and promoted. The City should continue to improve the business environment and pursue opportunities for new incentives. Responsible Party: Economic Development Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Continue to work with businesses and property owners to better understand their needs. Timeframe: Short-term. 2.1.3: Continue to support the Renton Small Business Development Center. Additional Details: The Renton Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a partnership of the City, Renton Technical College, the Renton Chamber of Commerce and business community, helps address the needs of small businesses and strengthen Renton’s economic vitality. Responsible Party: Lead: Economic Development Resources: $ Public Involvement: Continue to work with key SBDC partners and the business community. Timeframe: On-going. The Renton Small Business Development Center is a partnership with the City, Renton Technical College, Renton Chamber of Commerce and the business community. Chapter 4 38 City of Renton 2.1.4: Support business district marketing efforts. Additional Details: Consider coordinated branding opportunities for the retail areas to create an identity that consumers recognize and associate with the City Center. This effort should be coordinated with the gateways strategy (discussed in 1.1.3) and the wayfinding strategy (discussed in 1.1.4). Responsible Party: Lead: Economic Development; Support: Planning Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Work with business and property owners. Timeframe: Mid-term. 2.1.5 Consider ways to identify and promote improved visual appearance of long-term vacant properties. Additional Details: The City should work with the arts community, nonprofit organizations, and community members to activate vacant spaces in the City Center. The City should also consider adopting regulations to improve the visual appearance of long-term vacant properties. Responsible Party: Lead: Economic Development; Support: Planning, Renton Municipal Arts Commission Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Work with property owners, the arts community, nonprofits, and community members to brainstorm innovative ideas for activating vacant spaces. Timeframe: On-going. 2.1.6: Continue to work to improve regional transportation access to the regional employment center, and the City Center as a whole. (See all Policies and Strategies under Goal 5 in the Transportation section). Additional Details: In order to ensure employers and employees can easily get to the regional employment center, the City needs to continue to improve regional transportation, including improvements to arterials and freeway interchanges, as well as regional transportation. Details can be found in the Policies and Strategies under Goal 5 in the Transportation section. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning, Economic Development Resources: $$; staff time only Public Involvement: Work with regional employers. Timeframe: On-going. WSDOT initiated. Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 39 2.1.7: Determine necessary utilities and infrastructure to support the regional employment center, and the City Center as a whole. Additional Details: Perform an inventory to determine the utility and infrastructure needs of the regional employers and the City Center as a whole. Responsible Party: Lead: Utilities; Support: Economic Development Resources: $ Public Involvement: Work with regional employers, businesses, property owners, and other key stakeholders. Timeframe: On-going. 2.1.8: Continue to review parking management strategies. Additional Details: As the number of residents, businesses, and offices living, doing business, and visiting the City Center continues to increase, it will be important to consider strategies that will successfully manage the demand for parking. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning Resources: $-$$ Public Involvement: Business owners, property owners, regional employers and area residents will need to be involved in order to develop strategies that adequately meet the needs of the community. Timeframe: On-going. The City Center Parking Garage is available for park and ride, hourly, or monthly parking. Chapter 4 40 City of Renton 2.2 Continue to support opportunities to create a more vibrant Downtown. In order to foster a Downtown that is vibrant, new opportunities that attract people and businesses to the City Center should be sought out, and existing efforts to retain businesses, to fill vacancies, and create retail opportunities should be supported. Consider ways to identify and promote interim uses that activate vacant spaces. Pedestrian activity should be encouraged and uses such as sidewalk cafes should be considered. 2.2.1: Create a Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) or Local Improvement District (LID), or utilize other funding mechanisms, to help implement the goals and priorities of businesses in Downtown Renton. Additional Details: Work with business leaders, property owners, and the Renton Chamber of Commerce to establish the goals and priorities for businesses in Downtown. The BID/LID could help organize and fund joint marketing, joint parking strategies, property improvements, community events, and streetscape improvements. Joint marketing could include communication tools such as a Downtown Business internet presence including a website, email groups, and social networking sites. A LID is more appropriate for funding joint public improvements such as sidewalks, special lighting, etc. and should be considered for these types of improvements. Responsible Party: Lead: Economic Development; Support: Community Services Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Work with business and property owners in the downtown core. Timeframe: Short-term. 2.2.2: Better utilize the Renton Pavilion Event Center. Additional Details: The City should work to create a preferred management agreement to ensure better utilization of the space with more events that are open to the public. Responsible Party: Lead: Community Services; Support: Economic Development Resources: N/A Public Involvement: N/A Timeframe: On-going. Support local businesses to create a more vibrant Downtown. Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 41 2.2.3: Initiate a sidewalk café case study and develop tailored regulations to encourage sidewalk cafes in Downtown. Additional Details: Work with an interested business owner to allow sidewalk cafés on public right-of-way. Use the case study to better understand potential issues and citizen concerns. After the case study, develop regulations to allow and encourage sidewalk cafes. Responsible Party: Lead: Planning, Economic Development Resources: $ Public Involvement: Survey community after sidewalk café is installed to determine any potential concerns and possible mitigation. Timeframe: Short-term. 2.2.4: Continue to support community events in Downtown. Additional Details: Community events such as the Renton Farmers Market, Holiday Tree Lighting, and IKEA Renton River Days, should continue to be strongly supported and new events should be pursued. Responsible Party: Lead: Community Services, Economic Development; Support: Planning Resources: $ Public Involvement: Support efforts of Downtown businesses, residents, non- profits, and Piazza Renton. Continue to work with community members to understand their desires for public events. Timeframe: On-going. Renton Pavilion Event Center. Renton Farmers Market. Community meetings. Chapter 4 42 City of Renton 2.3 Enhance and provide space for small-scale, mixed-use, local retail on Park Avenue North connecting The Landing to Downtown. Small-scale, mixed-used development along Park Avenue would help create a retail connection between Downtown and The Landing. Streetscape improvements on Park Ave N (discussed in 6.1) and a possible streetcar (discussed in 6.2) would also help improve this connection. 2.3.1: Consider changing the zoning along Park Ave N from Bronson Way N to N 6th Street to allow small-scale, mixed-use buildings. Additional Details: Consider changing the zoning along Park Avenue N from Bronson Way N to N 6th Street to a consistent zone that allows small-scale, mixed-use buildings. Currently, many portions of Park Ave N allow for this type of development, but the zoning is not consistent. Consistent zoning would help catalyze reinvestment in this area of the City Center. Perform a detailed study of the existing zoning and proposed zoning changes to ensure the height and density are appropriate for this location. Establish appropriate height limits and Floor Area Ratio (FAR)/density standards for mixed-use and commercial buildings that are appropriate with the surrounding single family neighborhood. The streetscape standards (discussed in 1.1.2) should ensure a cohesive streetscape along Park Ave N that provides visual continuity between Downtown and the North Mixed-Use Area. The design standards (discussed in 1.1.1) should ensure consistent and complimentary neighborhood-scale development and provide for appropriate transitions from development on Park Ave N to the adjacent single-family neighborhood. Update the Comprehensive Plan with relevant land use changes. Responsible Party: Lead: Planning; Support: Community Services, Economic Development Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Work with residents, business owners, and property owners along Park Ave N and surrounding area. Timeframe: Mid-term. Rendering of small-scale mixed-use buildings on Park Avenue N. Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 43 2.4 Pursue opportunities to locate a new City Hall in a central location in the City Center. Renton has three potential annexation areas that, if annexed, will increase the City’s population to well over 130,000. Additionally, as one of ten core cities in the Puget Sound, Renton may experience significantly more growth in population than is currently anticipated. The existing City Hall may not be large enough to accommodate the staffing levels necessary to provide services to a city of that size. A new City Hall would present a unique opportunity to contribute to a more vibrant City Center with likely nearly 1,000 employees who would seek opportunities to shop and eat in the immediate area and other users coming for public meetings throughout the day and evening. If these annexations and growth occur, the City should pursue opportunities to locate a new City Hall in a central location that would be more accessible by foot, bicycle, and transit, and would contribute to a more vibrant City Center. 2.4.1: Consider initiating a feasibility study to select a location for a new City Hall in a central location in the City Center. Additional Details:  Identify site selection criteria to evaluate alternatives, such as:  Accessibility by foot, bicycle, and transit.  Cost, funding opportunities  Joint use opportunities  Adjacent land uses  Contribution to a vibrant City Center  Update Comprehensive Plan  Determine funding and scope for purchasing property for the new City Hall Responsible Party: Lead: Community Services; Support: Economic Development, Planning Resources: $$$ Public Involvement: The study should be developed in consultation with the general public. Timeframe: Long-term. Goal 2 Summary: Continue to support Renton’s diverse economic sectors. 2.1 Continue to support opportunities to create a more vibrant City Center where people live, work, learn, and play. 2.2 Continue to support opportunities to create a more vibrant Downtown. 2.3 Enhance and provide space for small-scale, mixed-use, local retail on Park Avenue North connecting The Landing to Downtown. 2.4 Pursue opportunities to locate a new City Hall in a central location in the City Center. Chapter 4 44 City of Renton Goal 3: Improve access, circulation, and visibility of the concentration of civic activities including Liberty Park, the King County Library System (KCLS) Main Renton Library, the Renton History Museum, and Cedar River to create a dynamic civic activity node in Downtown. 3.1 Coordinate Liberty Park, the KCLS Main Renton Library, the Renton History Museum, the Cedar River, and the proposed greenway/promenade as a key activity node for the City Center. The node should highlight and make visible this concentration of civic activities and emphasize that this is a critical crossroads connecting the north and south City Center areas. Build on the wayfinding program (discussed in 1.1) to direct people to the civic activities in this node. Consider using landscaping, water features, or artwork to highlight the entries to the civic activities, such as Lighting the Bridge, as referenced in the Arts and Culture Master Plan. Incorporate the greenway/promenade concept (discussed in 8.3) into this activity node. Coordinate with the transportation improvements (discussed in 6.5 – 6.7) to improve access and circulation for pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles to this node. 3.1.1: Complete a conceptual plan for the civic node. Additional Details: A coordinated plan should be developed to incorporate opportunities at the civic node, including the Tri-Park Master Plan, transportation plans, Museum Master Plan, and the greenway/promenade along N 1st Street and the Cedar River. Responsible Party: Lead: Planning, Community Services; Support: Economic Development Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Ensure that the public reviews the plan and provides feedback. Timeframe: Short-term. Civic node (top) and KCLS Main Renton library (below). Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 45 3.1.2: Implement the Tri-Park Master Plan. Additional Details: The City should continue to pursue opportunities to implement the Tri-Park Master Plan. The goal is to unify the Tri-Park area, which includes Liberty Park, Cedar River Park, and the NARCO Property, with better circulation, wayfinding, and coordinated amenities. Currently, implementation is dependent on WSDOT improvements to I-405 (discussed in 5.1). Coordinate the implementation of the Tri-Park Master Plan with the improvements to the greenway/promenade (discussed in 8.3), other greenspace improvements in the City Center (discussed in 8.4), and the transportation improvements in this area (discussed in 6.5-6.7). Responsible Party: Lead: Community Services; Support: Transportation, Economic Development, Planning, Resources: $$$ Public Involvement: Not needed in this phase Timeframe: Long-term. Dependent on WSDOT. Tri-Park site plan. Chapter 4 46 City of Renton 3.2 Ensure that the KCLS Main Renton Library building remains in public use even if the Main Library relocates in the future. Work with the King County Library System to better understand the long term plans for the Main Library. If there is a plan to relocate the Library in the future, the City should pursue other opportunities for this unique building that would keep it in public use to continue to be a civic amenity in Downtown. 3.2.1: Work with KCLS to ensure that plans for the future of Main Renton Library building remains in public use. Additional Details: As a part of the plan in 3.1.1 above, consider the future of the KCLS Main Renton Library building. Consider creating an environmental or arts and cultural center at this location if the library relocates. Responsible Party: Lead: Economic Development; Support: Community Services, Planning Resources: $ Public Involvement: Not needed in this phase. Timeframe: On-going. Goal 3 Summary: Improve access, circulation, and visibility of the concentration of civic activities including Liberty Park, the King County Library System (KCLS) Main Renton Library, the Renton History Museum, and Cedar River to create a dynamic civic activity node in Downtown. 3.1 Coordinate Liberty Park, the KCLS Main Renton Library, the Renton History Museum, the Cedar River, and the proposed greenway/promenade as a key activity node for the City Center. The node should highlight and make visible this concentration of civic activities and emphasize that this is a critical crossroads connecting the north and south City Center areas. 3.2 Ensure that the KCLS Main Renton Library building remains in public use even if the Main Library relocates in the future. Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 47 Goal 4: Protect and enhance the residential neighborhoods in the City Center. 4.1 Ensure the housing stock is maintained and codes are enforced in residential areas. The City should work with landlords and other property owners to identify tools to incentivize housing stock improvement. The City should also consider including single-family home rentals in the nuisance ordinance to ensure landlords are enforcing lease agreements and maintaining their properties. 4.1.1: Implement a property maintenance ordinance in the residential areas of the City Center. Additional Details: The City will need to build upon existing code enforcement to create an ordinance focused on property maintenance. Once the ordinance is adopted, the City will need to continue to enforce the ordinance. Responsible Party: Lead: Development Services, Planning; Support: Community Services, City Attorney Resources: $ - $$; Includes writing, adopting, and enforcing the ordinance Public Involvement: Work with residents and neighborhood groups in developing the ordinance. Educate residents about how to report problems. Timeframe: Short-term to adopt the ordinance and on-going to enforce the ordinance. 4.1.2: Develop self-help guides to assist property owners with maintenance. Additional Details: Self-help “how-to” guides could be developed, such as how to: improve energy efficiency, hire a contractor, or apply for a building/electrical/ plumbing permit. These guides would help property owners make improvements to properties in the City Center. Responsible Party: Lead: Planning, Development Services; Support: Community Services Resources: $ - $$; Includes developing guides. Public Involvement: Work with residents and neighborhood groups in developing the guides to ensure the right topics are addressed. Timeframe: Short-term to develop the guides and on-going to provide assistance. Chapter 4 48 City of Renton Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 49 4.1.3: Pursue the possibility of establishing a bank-operated low-interest loan program to help initiate building improvements. Additional Details: The City should work with local banks to encourage development of a low-interest loan program. Responsible Party: Lead: Economic Development; Support: Planning, Community Services Resources: $$$ Public Involvement: Work with banks to establish a program. If a program is established, work with property owners and businesses to promote the program. Timeframe: Short-term, begin coordination with banks. Dependent on bank participation. 4.2 Ensure that the single-family area of the South Renton neighborhood remains cohesive and intact. The South Renton neighborhood is currently zoned for high-density multi- family, but there are areas of strong, cohesive single-family neighborhoods that should be preserved. Rezoning this area to single-family zoning may help spur reinvestment in this area by removing some of the uncertainty single-family homeowners may have based on potential development that could occur in their neighborhood. It may also lessen property speculation that may be occurring. 4.2.1: Consider rezoning the intact, single- family area of the South Renton neighborhood. Additional Details: Work with residents and property owners to determine the most appropriate boundaries for zoning changes. Responsible Party: Lead: Planning; Support: Community Services Resources: $ Public Involvement: Continue to work with residents, businesses, and property owners. Timeframe: Short-term. Working with neighborhood residents, the City should consider rezoning portions of the South Renton neighborhood. Chapter 4 50 City of Renton 4.3 Enhance measures (such as setbacks, buffers, landscape screening, and height restrictions) to protect edges of single- family areas from adjacent development. These measures can be incorporated into existing design standards or new design standards/guidelines can be developed to address the transition areas between commercial and multifamily development and single-family residential areas. 4.3.1: Protect edges of single-family areas by improving design standards for the transition areas between zones. See 1.1.1: Update existing design standards for the City Center to ensure new development will fulfill the vision. Analyze the areas where higher intensity zones are adjacent to single-family zones to determine the most appropriate design standards to lessen the impact on single- family homes. Regulations should be established to protect adjacent residences from the impacts of new development. Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 51 4.4 Implement the City’s Urban Forestry Plan by initiating a street tree planting program in the residential neighborhoods to increase canopy cover, improving the streetscapes, and promoting community building. Work with community groups to establish goals and priorities for a street tree planting program. The City could coordinate with local non-profit organizations or local nurseries to secure appropriate trees for distribution. The City should establish street tree planting guidelines and training for community groups. 4.4.1: Initiate a street tree planting program in the residential neighborhoods. Additional Details: The City should establish street tree planting guidelines that include tree types, tree spacing, and tips for planting. Training should also be provided for community groups. The guidelines should coordinate with the street tree standards in the urban design standards for the public realm (discussed in 1.1.2). Responsible Party: Lead: Community Services; Support: Planning Resources: $$ to establish program, does not include funding to provide trees. Public Involvement: Work with residents and community groups to establish the tree planting program. Timeframe: Mid-term. Dependent on community participation. 4.4.2: Implement the City’s Urban Forestry Plan. Additional Details: Implementation of the Urban Forestry Plan will work to increase canopy cover throughout the City Center, improve streetscapes with street trees, and promote community building with volunteer activities. It will also help to improve air quality and mitigate the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Responsible Party: Lead: Community Services; Support: Planning Resources: $-$$$ Public Involvement: Work with community members and businesses to implement the Urban Forestry Plan. Timeframe: Mid-term. Volunteer efforts can play an important part in neighborhood improvement. Chapter 4 52 City of Renton 4.5 Increase neighborhood amenities, including neighborhood gardens, greenspaces, and public art. Work with community members to identify and prioritize the needs and desires of the neighborhoods and develop strategies to provide new or improved neighborhood amenities, especially those that increase the amount of greenspace in the City Center. Perform a needs assessment in each neighborhood and compare the available amenities to those amenities in other communities. 4.5.1: Perform a needs assessment for public amenities in each neighborhood. Additional Details: Use the needs assessment to identify and prioritize the needs and desires of the neighborhoods. Use the priorities to create an implementation and funding schedule. Consider emergency preparedness and potential locations for public art in the needs assessment. Responsible Party: Lead: Community Services; Support: Planning, Fire & Emergency Management, Economic Development Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Work with residents and neighborhood groups to perform needs assessment. Timeframe: Mid-term. Examples of existing neighborhood amenities. Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 53 4.6 Improve residential streetscapes with landscaping, street trees, and sidewalks. The City should seek opportunities to increase the amount of greenspace in the City Center by utilizing planting strip areas between the sidewalk and street. Improving landscape strip areas helps to improve the aesthetics of the streetscapes and helps filter stormwater drainage. Sidewalks help to improve the pedestrian experience and safety for all users including the elderly, disabled, and children. New development will be required to use the City’s complete streets standards. 4.6.1: Incorporate residential streetscape improvements in the urban design standards for the public realm. Additional Details: The residential streetscape standards should be included in the urban design standards for the public realm (discussed in 1.1.2). The standards should coordinate with the City’s complete streets standards. Because the single-family residential areas are unlikely to redevelop, the City and community groups should work together to pursue opportunities for streetscape improvements that do not rely on redevelopment. See also 4.4.1: Initiate a street tree planting program in the residential neighborhoods. Responsible Party: Lead: Planning; Support: Transportation, Community Services, Utilities, Economic Development, Fire & Emergency Services Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Work with residential neighborhoods as a part of the larger urban design standards updates (discussed in 1.1.2). Timeframe: Mid-term. Street trees can help improve the visual appeal of residential streets. Chapter 4 54 City of Renton 4.7 Work to keep trucks off residential streets. Coordinate with Renton Police to ensure truck routes are enforced and that trucks are kept off of residential streets. In addition, design residential streets so that they are not conducive or attractive for trucks. 4.7.1: Sign and enforce truck routes. Additional Details: Ensure that through truck traffic is staying on designated truck routes and off of residential, non-arterial streets. Responsible Party: Lead: Police; Support: Transportation, Fire & Emergency Services Resources: $ Public Involvement: None Timeframe: On-going 4.7.2: Continue to improve truck routing in the City Center. Additional Details: Ensure that trucks can get to the businesses they need to serve with as little impact on residential streets as possible. Responsible Party: Lead: Police; Support: Fire & Emergency Services, Economic Development, Transportation Resources: $ Public Involvement: None. Timeframe: On-going 4.7.3: Implement traffic awareness strategies on residential streets (discussed in detail in 6.10). City’s existing truck routes map. Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 55 4.8 Ensure that the City Center is a place for families and a place that recognizes the diversity of the community. Work to ensure that the City Center provides the full range of services and infrastructure that meets the needs of all members of the community and recognizes its diversity. Support uses such as day care centers and consider users of all ages and varied physical abilities in the development of parks and open spaces. Work with the Renton School District to ensure that long-range plans address educational facilities within the City Center, especially for elementary school aged children. 4.8.1: Continue to work with the Renton School District to ensure the City Center is adequately served by school facilities. Additional Details: As the City Center Community Plan is implemented and the City Center continues to become a more attractive place to live and raise a family, the City should monitor the number of children within the City Center to ensure school facilities will be able to meet the future demand. Responsible Party: Lead: Planning, Renton School District Resources: N/A Public Involvement: Renton School District will involve the public. Timeframe: On-going. Dependent on the Renton School District. Renton High School is located within the City Center. The Renton School District should continue to ensure the City Center is adequately served by school facilities Chapter 4 56 City of Renton 4.8.2: Continue to provide the full range of human resource services to meet the needs of all members of the community. Additional Details: Ensure that adequate social services continue to serve the diverse population in the City Center. Responsible Party: Lead: Human Services; Support: Planning Resources: $ - $$$ Public Involvement: Human Services Committee will be engaged. Timeframe: On-going. 4.8.3: Ensure universal design techniques are utilized throughout the City Center. Additional Details: The City should ensure all physical infrastructure is designed to be accessible to both the able-bodied and the physically disabled. Responsible Party: Lead: Planning Resources: $ - $$$ Public Involvement: NA Timeframe: On-going. Community events, like this neighborhood picnic, can help ensure the City Center is a place for families and a place that recognizes diversity. Plan Elements – Economic and Community Development City Center Community Plan 57 4.8.4: Continue to support and promote a diverse population in the City Center. Additional Details: The City Center has a diverse population in terms of age, race, and abilities. This diversity helps make the City Center a unique, attractive place to live. In order to help maintain this diversity, the City needs to ensure housing is available to all income ranges, as well as special needs populations. The City should continue to support this diversity in all of its policies and actions. Responsible Party: Lead: Executive; Support: All Departments Resources: $-$$$ Public Involvement: NA Timeframe: On-going. Goal 4 Summary Protect and enhance the residential neighborhoods in the City Center. 4.1 Ensure the housing stock is maintained and codes are enforced in residential areas. 4.2 Ensure that the single-family area of the South Renton neighborhood remains cohesive and intact. 4.3 Enhance measures (such as setbacks, buffers, landscape screening, and height restrictions) to protect edges of single-family areas from adjacent development. 4.4 Implement the City’s Urban Forestry Plan by initiating a street tree planting program in the residential neighborhoods to increase canopy cover, improving the streetscapes, and promoting community building. 4.5 Increase neighborhood amenities, including neighborhood gardens, greenspaces, and public art. 4.6 Improve residential streetscapes with landscaping, street trees, and sidewalks. 4.7 Work to keep trucks off residential streets. 4.8 Ensure that the City Center is a place for families and a place that recognizes the diversity of the community. Chapter 4 58 City of Renton Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 59 Transportation Goal 5: Provide better transportation connections for the full range of transportation modes to improve access to and from the City Center. Sub-Goal: Focus through traffic on arterials and improve freeway interchange connections. Focusing through-traffic on I-405 and arterials will help reduce traffic impacts in the heart of the City Center. Key actions to accomplish this goal include: 5.1 Support Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) efforts to encourage all regional through-traffic to I- 405 by improving and reconfiguring interchanges and adding capacity. WSDOT currently has plans to improve the I-405 interchanges with SR 169, N 8th Street, and Park Avenue, as well as to add an HOV access ramp at N 8th Street for BRT and carpools access. WSDOT recently completed construction of a half- diamond interchange consisting of an on-ramp from Talbot Road (SR 515) to northbound I-405 and a southbound ramp from I-405 to Talbot Road. The I-405 project also includes future construction of a new half-diamond interchange with a new on-ramp from Lind Avenue to westbound I-405 and an off-ramp from eastbound I-405 to Lind Avenue. These new interchanges will be connected with a system of frontage roads. These changes will improve access to I-405 and should reduce traffic congestion in the City Center. The WSDOT improvements also will add capacity for regional through-traffic on I-405. The long-term access to, and circulation within Downtown, depend on these new connections to I-405. Several other circulation improvements within the City Center cannot be implemented until these new connections are constructed. Therefore, the City should continue to coordinate with WSDOT on these projects and should Renton to Bellevue Project proposed improvements. Chapter 4 60 City of Renton continue to support full buildout of the I-405 master plan to ensure that the best interests of the City Center are being pursued. The City also should work with the State Legislature and Federal agencies to ensure timely funding for these regional transportation system improvements. 5.1.1: Continue to coordinate with WSDOT to ensure through-traffic uses I-405. Additional Details:  City staff should review specific plans to assure they understand how the improvements fit with other elements of the City Center Plan.  The City will need to monitor the state budget and transportation funding processes/programs.  City could support/lobby for additional state transportation funding and federal funding (stimulus, transit, etc) to support advancement of these improvements. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: City Council, Mayor, Economic Development Resources: $$; Staff and elected official’s time Public Involvement: None in the coordination phase. Timeframe: Long-term. Dependent on WSDOT initiation. 5.2 Consider designating Logan Avenue as a state route for sub- regional through-traffic within the City Center. The City should pursue this strategy in order to remove through traffic from streets that provide access and circulation within the residential and commercial areas of the City Center. It will be important for the City to engage property and business owners regarding costs and benefits of the possibility of re-routing through-traffic to skirt the City Center if Logan is designated a State Route. The City should also fully implement the gateway and wayfinding program (discussed in 1.1.3 and 1.1.4) to ensure that Downtown and other commercial areas are well identified from Logan. 5.2.1: Prepare a study to evaluate alternatives for SR 900 through Renton. Additional Details:  The planning study should include:  Traffic analyses, economic assessment, funding analysis, and public outreach.  Comparison of potential alternatives would likely include maintaining existing designation, Logan Avenue, and potential others.  Summarize potential benefits/impacts of options; coordinate with WSDOT to identify strategies and requirements and improvements needed for re-designating SR 900 through Renton. Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 61  See 1.1.4 for wayfinding program that should be incorporated into study. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning, Economic Development Resources: $$; Staff time and possible consultants Public Involvement: Engage WSDOT, transit providers, businesses and property owners, downtown merchants, and residents in the process. Consider a survey of existing users and businesses of couplet and Logan options/issues/concerns Timeframe: Long-term. Dependent on coordination with WSDOT and transit providers. 5.2.2: Implement initial improvements to support re-designating SR 900 through Renton. Additional Details:  Define short- to mid-term improvements and phasing program.  Develop funding program for intersection/roadway improvements that includes cost estimates and a funding strategy for each improvement.  Incorporate improvements into Six-year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Transportation Element, traffic analyses, economic assessment, funding analysis, and public outreach.  Develop designs, cost estimates, and construction program.  Acquire rights of way and systematically construct improvements. Comparison of potential alternatives would likely include maintaining existing designation, Logan Avenue, and potential others. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning, Economic Development (Intergovernmental Relations) Resources: $$$$; Staff time and possible consultants Public Involvement: Engage WSDOT, transit providers, residents, businesses and property owners, and downtown merchants. Timeframe: Long-term. Dependent on WSDOT and major funding. Logan Avenue is relatively separated from residential neighborhoods. Its relatively few cross-streets make it a potentially efficient through-traffic route. Chapter 4 62 City of Renton 5.3 Investigate the potential for re-routing through truck traffic from Park Avenue North. The north part of the City Center is served by several other designated truck routes, including Logan Avenue/Airport Way, N 8th, Houser Way N, and Sunset Blvd. If the City does remove the truck route designation on Park Avenue N for through trucks, then the City’s official truck route map should be updated and through truck routes should be clearly signed by putting up signs that indicate that these streets are no longer designated as truck routes. The City should work with businesses that could potentially be impacted by this change. The Police Department should increase the enforcement of these truck routes (discussed in 4.7). 5.3.1: Study potential impacts and alternatives for changing truck route designation on Park Ave N. Additional Details:  Identify truck current and future users/demands including origins and destinations. Alternatives should be identified to serve the existing and future demands.  Modify the Comprehensive Plan Map to show changes; amend the City code.  Install signs. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Police, Economic Development Resources: $$; Staff time and/or consultants Public Involvement: Work with truck users, businesses, and property owners served by truck route. Timeframe: Short-term. Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 63 Sub-Goal: Explore transit options and prepare for opportunities as they arise. 5.4 Work with appropriate agencies and departments to identify a preferred route for a future Rapid Ride bus rapid transit and/or light rail transit (LRT) line that would best serve the City Center. Thoroughly analyze a preferred route for mass transit service. 5.4.1: Continue working with an inter-agency work group to define and evaluate the Rapid Ride F-Line bus service. Additional Details:  Continue to work with King County Metro on the design for F-line (Burien to Renton) Rapid Ride in 2011.  Explore strategies for extending F-line through City Center to The Landing.  Review Bel-Red corridor analyses prepared by/for City of Bellevue related to transit strategies/recommendations.  Prepare a white paper to define opportunities, impacts and benefits, and potential costs for rapid Ride, LRT or other transit strategies for City Center. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning Resources: $; Staff time Public Involvement: None at this stage; presentations to Planning Commission and/or City Council on options/status. Timeframe: Short-term. Dependent of coordination with King County Metro. King County METRO’s RapidRide F-Line. Chapter 4 64 City of Renton 5.4.2: Explore the City’s transit options and establish a preferred strategy/option for BRT, LRT, and other transit strategies for the City, especially a possible extension north from Downtown Renton. Additional Details:  Conduct a formal study to determine the preferred route. The study should include funding options and implementation strategies.  Incorporate study recommendations for the preferred strategy for BRT, LRT, and other transit strategies into the Comprehensive Plan and other regional plans. This may also include land use changes along the preferred route.  Review and approve development permits along preferred route to preserve potential needs for rights-of-way and non-motorized accessibility. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning, Community Services Resources: $$$-$$$$; Staff and consultants Public Involvement: Solicit feedback on transit concepts and options from the community, businesses, and property owners. Timeframe: Mid-term. Study is short-term due to F-line design moving forward; implementation is longer-term. Dependent on coordination with King County Metro and Sound Transit. Implementation will depend on major funding. Regional transportation options. (Photos from Seattle-PI and Sound Transit) Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 65 5.5 Continue to pursue opportunities for a future water taxi to connect Renton to other Lake Washington cities, such as Bellevue, Kirkland, Mercer Island, and/or Seattle. Pursue potential funding opportunities, partnerships with other agencies, and/or relationships with private firms that may be interested in providing water taxi service to and from the city. 5.5.1: Explore financial feasibility and operational needs for a water taxi service, facility needs in Renton, and possible routes. Additional Details: A water taxi service would be a component of a complete regional transportation network and the water taxi terminal would be part of a transit hub in the area.  Audit and summarize all previous studies related to a water taxi. Use this information to develop a white paper on feasibility of a water taxi. Include how the service ties into transit, land use, and a potential parking garage.  Update Comprehensive Plan to incorporate study recommendations for the water taxi service based on white paper results. Also update regional, Sound Transit, and Metro plans with the recommendations from the white paper. Responsible Party: Lead: Economic Development (Intergovernmental Relations); Support: Transportation, Planning, Community Services Resources: $$; Staff time Public Involvement: General public, business and property owners, King County Metro, and Sound Transit, and possible private operators as necessary. Timeframe: Mid-term. 5.5.2: Implement recommendations for a Renton water taxi Additional Details:  Develop potential agreement for operating water taxi with private or public provider.  Fund, design, and construct needed dock or other facilities for water taxi. Responsible Party: Lead: Economic Development; Support: Transportation, Planning, Legal, Community Services Resources: $$$$ Public Involvement: Include the general public, residents, businesses and property owners in planning process. Timeframe: Mid-term. Dependent on agreement with a private or public provider and on major funding. Chapter 4 66 City of Renton 5.6 Encourage Sound Transit and/or Metro to build and operate a public parking garage in The Landing/Coulon Park vicinity. A parking garage at Park Avenue N and N 8th Street is part of the Sound Transit Master Plan and part of WSDOT’s I-405 Master Plan and could be used as a park-and-ride facility for future Rapid Ride or other BRT or LRT and for commercial uses in the northern portion of the City Center. The City should initiate a feasibility study to identify the ideal location for the garage based on the location of transit lines, I-405 interchange improvements, a possible future water taxi, and to support transit-oriented development. It will be important to ensure that the potential garage be integrated into the built environment in a manner that fosters the growth of the area as a destination rather than a point of transfer. The Puget Sound Energy property near Coulon Park could also be a potential location for a park-and-ride facility if the streetcar (discussed in 6.2), or other transit system, extends to that location and the water taxi locates in that area. 5.6.1: Conduct a feasibility study to determine the necessity for and choose a location for a potential parking garage in the north end of the City Center to support transit, water taxi, and other transportation needs. Additional Details:  The feasibility study should include:  Current and future parking demand in the general area  Identification of potential users  Analysis of access to transit services and facilities  Proximity to commercial areas, parks, and other supporting land uses  Opportunities for transit-oriented development  Access to/from the freeway for users and transit  Pedestrian and bicycle access  Safety and operations  Potential funding opportunities Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning, Community Services Resources: $$$$; Staff time, probably a consultant team Public Involvement: Engage property owners, transit providers, businesses, property owners and neighborhood residents. Timeframe: Long-term. Dependent on coordination with Sound Transit and/or King County Metro and dependent on major funding. Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 67 5.6.2: Work with Sound Transit and King County Metro to fund, design, and construct the parking garage. Additional Details:  Coordinate on grants or other funding programs.  City to review plans and issue permits. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: City Council, Finance, Planning, Economic Development (Intergovernmental Relations) Resources: $$$$; Staff time; other agencies include King County Metro and Sound Transit Public Involvement: Work with transit agencies and involve public as part of annual budget process. Timeframe: Long-term. Dependent on coordination with Sound Transit and/or King County Metro and dependent on major funding. Goal 5 Summary Provide better transportation connections for the full range of transportation modes to improve access to and from the City Center. Sub-Goal: Focus through traffic on arterials and improve freeway interchange connections. 5.1 Support Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) efforts to encourage all regional through-traffic to I-405 by improving and reconfiguring interchanges and adding capacity. 5.2 Consider designating Logan Avenue as a state route for sub-regional through-traffic within the City Center. 5.3 Investigate the potential for re-routing through truck traffic from Park Avenue North. Sub-Goal: Explore transit options and prepare for opportunities as they arise. 5.4 Work with appropriate agencies and departments to identify a preferred route for a future Rapid Ride bus rapid transit and/or light rail transit (LRT) line that would best serve the City Center. 5.5 Continue to pursue opportunities for a future water taxi to connect Renton to other Lake Washington cities, such as Bellevue, Kirkland, Mercer Island, and/or Seattle. 5.6 Encourage Sound Transit and/or Metro to build and operate a public parking garage in The Landing/Coulon Park vicinity. Chapter 4 68 City of Renton Goal 6: Provide better connections between areas within the City Center. Sub-Goal: Establish Park Avenue N as a multi-modal transportation corridor between Coulon Park and Burnett Avenue S. Park Avenue N should serve as a key north/south connection for travel within the City Center, providing mobility and circulation for pedestrians, vehicles, and transit. This would provide strong connections between Lake Washington, The Landing, North Renton, Downtown, and South Renton. A variety of funding strategies should be considered, such as a Local Improvement District (LID) or a Transportation Benefit District (TBD), to help fund systematic improvements instead of incremental improvements, as development occurs. The City could tie the funding strategy to the potential increase in zoning capacity of Park Avenue N (discussed in 2.3.1). The City should conduct an urban design study for Park Avenue N that combines the potential rezone of this area with new design standards and guidelines (discussed in 1.1.1 and 2.3.1) and a street design study (in coordination with 1.1.2) to pursue the following key strategies to implement the vision for Park Avenue N. 6.1 Improve Park Avenue N as a key pedestrian connection between Coulon Park, The Landing, North Renton, Downtown, and South Renton with sidewalks, landscaping, wayfinding, public art, and other amenities. In addition to ensuring the zoning and development standards along Park Avenue N encourages pedestrian-oriented retail along Park Avenue N (discussed in 2.3.1), improve the streetscape of Park Avenue N to create a pedestrian-friendly environment that will provide a key pedestrian connection between Downtown and Lake Washington. The City should develop a streetscape design for Park Avenue N that will be consistent from Bronson Way N all the way to Lake Washington. The streetscape design should include wide sidewalks, consistent pedestrian-scaled lighting, street trees, wayfinding signs, and a variety of other pedestrian amenities. These specific streetscape standards should be coordinated with the public realm standards (discussed in 1.1.2). Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 69 Chapter 4 70 City of Renton 6.1.1: Conduct a detailed design study for Park Ave N. Additional Details:  Prepare design concepts, cost estimates, and funding program for Park Avenue N corridor.  Define right-of-way needs and development requirements.  Establish funding strategy.  Adopt corridor plan and funding strategy. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning, Community Services, Economic Development Resources: $$-$$$; City staff and consultants Public Involvement: Engage the general public, residents, businesses, and property owners in public meetings that may include design charettes, open houses, or workshops. Consider creating a corridor advisory committee. Timeframe: Mid-term. Dependent on major funding. 6.1.2: Implement design for Park Ave N. Additional Details:  Obtain funding to implement the Park Ave N design:  Incorporate into Capital Facilities Plan, Six-Year TIP, and annual budget.  Establish a TBD or LID process/scope/assessments.  Pursue grants.  Design and Construct Park Ave N improvements  Prepare final design and engineering, right-of-way, phasing plans, and traffic control plans.  Hire contractor.  Construct improvements. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Economic Development, Planning, Finance Resources: $$$$; Staff time, consultants Public Involvement: Engage the general public, residents, and business and property owners in design charettes or workshops. Perform scoping for environmental review requirements. Timeframe: Long-term. Dependent on major funding. Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 71 Chapter 4 72 City of Renton 6.2 Consider a streetcar/trolley line, with the first phase running along Park Avenue N connecting Coulon Park, The Landing, Downtown, and the Transit Center. Future phases should connect the South Renton area, Grady Way, and the Sounder station at Longacres. A streetcar/trolley would be a permanent transit connection between the Transit Center and Lake Washington. It would provide a clear, visible connection between the areas of the City Center that are currently not well connected. This permanent investment in transit could be a significant catalyst for new private development along Park Avenue N and in the City Center as a whole. The City should pursue this concept by initiating a feasibility study to better understand the costs associated with building and running a streetcar. The study could pursue various funding opportunities and look at different ways of operating the line once it is built. A rubber wheeled trolley could be considered as an interim step to a fixed rail trolley. A transfer facility or transit center near Park Avenue N and N 8th Street would provide transfer connections from the streetcar to express busses on I-405 via the HOV access and potential BRT/LRT stops. This facility could be in conjunction with the parking garage (discussed in 5.6) or could be a separate, much smaller facility that would not require parking or significant infrastructure investment. Rendering of a streetcar on Park Avenue N. Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 73 6.2.1: Conduct a feasibility study exploring the financial feasibility and operational needs for a streetcar along Park Avenue N with potential expansion in the future. Additional Details:  The study should identify capital needs, operational needs and options, funding opportunities, and ridership analyses.  Update Comprehensive Plan, Capital Facilities Plan, and TIP to incorporate study recommendations for streetcar service. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning, Economic Development Resources: $$; Staff time and possible consultant Public Involvement: Include general public, residents, and business and property owners in public process as part of the feasibility study to help determine potential ridership. Timeframe: Long-term. 6.2.2: Implement the recommendations from the streetcar feasibility study. Additional Details:  Develop potential agreement for operating streetcar with private or public operator.  Fund, design, and construct needed facilities for streetcar. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning, Legal, Administration, Economic Development (Intergovernmental Relations) Resources: $$$$; Staff time, legal, and consultants Public Involvement: Possibly include the general public as part of City Council review. Timeframe: Long-term. Dependent on major funding and coordination with a private or public operator. Chapter 4 74 City of Renton 6.3 Pursue opportunities to extend Park Avenue N north of Logan Avenue N to the waterfront to connect to Southport, future development, potential future water taxi terminal, and Coulon Park. Providing an extension of Park Avenue N to Lake Washington will help complete the linear spine of the City Center. The City should develop a preferred alignment and concept for the new connection. The City should also work with property owners and potential developers to ensure that the new connection can be completed with a consistent streetscape to the rest of Park Avenue N. If a roadway extension proves infeasible in the near-term, the construction of a pedestrian bridge that also serves as an iconic gateway to the City Center should be explored. 6.3.1: Develop preliminary design concepts and implementation strategy for Park Ave N extension. Additional Details:  Preliminary design concept should build off of ongoing studies and should include:  Roadway cross-section and intersection needs, based on prior traffic analyses.  Summary of new and existing requirements for private development to ensure adequate right- of-way and a consistent streetscape design.  Development standards to support park access and water taxi needs (coordinate with water taxi white paper).  Options for alternative pedestrian bridge.  Implementation strategy to include:  Strategy to secure funding.  Detailed construction designs and phasing plan. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Economic Development, Planning, Community Services Resources: $$$$; Staff time, possible consultant Public Involvement: Coordination with property owners and potential developers. Timeframe: Short-term. Implementation dependent on coordination with property owners and potential developers. Pursue opportunities to extend Park Avenue N. to the waterfront to connect to Southport, future development, potential future water taxi terminal, and Coulon Park. Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 75 6.4 Provide connections that allow multiple circulation routes from the Bronson/SR 169 area to the vicinity of The Landing. As envisioned in this plan, Park Avenue will be a pedestrian, transit and local vehicle access oriented street. Therefore, it is important to provide alternate routes for through traffic not destined for a site within North Renton. It is particularly important that not all traffic from northbound I-405 and westbound SR 169 travelling to the north be directed along Park Avenue. The planned interchange and frontage roads between SR 169 and Sunset Boulevard will facilitate northbound traffic movement to the Sunset Boulevard interchange. From there, vehicles can travel north on Houser or west on N 4th Street. In general, the I-405 access improvements will reduce congestion in the Bronson/SR 169 area which will facilitate local circulation and pedestrian improvements. In the implementation of street improvements serving the new interchanges, the City should ensure that through traffic is not necessarily funneled onto Park Avenue N and that there are multiple north/south connections. 6.4.1: Develop study to define recommended circulation plan with I 405 widening improvements in place. Additional Details:  See also 5.1 ( I-405 project) and 5.2 (SR 900 re-designation)  Identify options  Evaluate based on:  Traffic circulation and operations  Property impacts / redevelopment opportunities  Safety  Transit routing  Wayfinding  Pedestrian and bicycle circulation  Costs  Funding  Update Comprehensive Plan to incorporate study recommendations Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning Resources: $$$$; Staff time and possible consultant Public Involvement: Engage the community, businesses, property owners, WSDOT, and transit agencies. Timeframe: Long-term. Dependent on WSDOT actions. Provide connections from Bronson/SR 169 to The Landing. Chapter 4 76 City of Renton Sub-Goal: Improve connectivity and mobility within the City Center. Throughout the public participation process, participants mentioned that the City Center needs to be better connected and it needs to be easier to get from the southern end of the City Center to Lake Washington. Currently, the existing street grid can be confusing for people who are not familiar with the one-way streets and the complex intersections. The City should pursue the following opportunities to improve traffic circulation and safe vehicular movement, as well as improve connectivity and safety for bicycles and pedestrians in the City Center. 6.5 Evaluate necessity and benefits of the one-way streets within the City Center.  Williams Avenue and Wells Avenue: Pursue changing one-way designations on Williams Avenue and Wells Avenue to two-way streets to improve north/south connectivity in the City Center. This change could occur in the short term and should not require major infrastructure changes. These streets are both currently designated bicycle routes. If the streets are converted to two-way, the City should consider both north and south bicycle routes on one of the streets instead of maintaining the split route.  N 3rd Street and N 4th Street: Pursue changing one-way designations on N 3rd Street and N 4th Street to two-way streets. This change will likely need to be tied to improvements made to the I-405 interchange at Maple Valley Highway (SR 169) and Sunset (SR 900). A reconfigured two-way street system could provide an excellent connection between the I-405 interchanges and the Park Avenue N corridor.  S 2nd Street and S 3rd Street: In the long term, pursue changing one-way designations on S 2nd and S 3rd Streets to two-way streets to facilitate vehicular circulation and mobility. This change could impact transit traffic patterns and could be tied to changing the designation of SR 900 from Downtown to Logan Avenue/Airport Way. The City should continue to work with property and business owners on how to best study and evaluate this option. The planned improvements at the I-405 interchanges with the Maple Valley Highway (SR 169) and Sunset Way (SR 900) should also be studied in regard to this potential change. One-way streets in the City Center. Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 77  Main Avenue S and Mill Avenue S: The planned WSDOT improvements of I-405 just south of the Cedar River will result in the closure of Houser Way S, which currently serves northbound traffic access to the I-405/SR 169 interchange. Closure of Houser Way S and modification of the crossings of I-405 via S 3rd Street/Mill Avenue S and at Renton Avenue S provides an opportunity to consider two- way traffic on Main Avenue S between Bronson Way S and S 3rd Street. This could improve local circulation within the Downtown area. Based on WSDOT studies, converting Main Avenue S to two-way operation would require property acquisition. The studies showed that the property acquisition could come from the east side of the corridor. Alternatively, Main Avenue S would be maintained as the southbound route, with northbound traffic using Mill Avenue S one block to the east. The latter alternative could reduce the potential needs for property acquisition. WSDOT’s studies show that both options could provide adequate capacity. The City should revisit and update the WSDOT studies and implement changes concurrently with or following construction of the changes to I-405 and closure of Houser Way S. WSDOT study for Main Street. Chapter 4 78 City of Renton 6.5.1: Conduct detailed traffic and circulation analyses for each one-way corridor/ couplet and select preferred action. Additional Details:  Evaluate transportation circulation options, traffic operations, land use, safety, costs, and public support  Select preferred action for each couplet and update Comprehensive Plan, Capital Facilities Plan and TIP  Establish funding, timing, and implementation strategy Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Community Services, Planning, Economic Development Resources: $$$$; Staff time and possible consultants Public Involvement: Engage property owners, residents, business owners, and the general public in public meetings and focus groups. Timeframe: Phased – select priorities and conduct studies sequentially. 6.6 Prioritize improvements to vehicular and pedestrian safety, connectivity, and traffic flow at the following key intersections:  Airport Way S and Logan Avenue N. Evaluate opportunities to upgrade this intersection to improve traffic safety, pedestrian connectivity, and aesthetically enhance this important gateway to the Downtown.  S 2nd Street, Bronson Way N, and Main Avenue S. Evaluate opportunities to upgrade this intersection to improve traffic flow. This intersection improvement needs to be tied to the decision for converting S 2nd Street/S 3rd Street and Main Avenue S/Mill Avenue S to two way operations (discussed in 6.5).  SW Langston, SR 900, and Hardie Avenue SW. Create a four-legged intersection by evaluating the possibility of realigning SW Langston. Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 79 6.6.1: Conduct operations and safety evaluation to define recommendations for each key intersection. Additional Details:  Operations and safety evaluation to include:  Traffic volumes and forecasts  Traffic safety/collision analyses  Pedestrian needs/safety  Costs/ impacts/feasibility  Incorporate recommendations in Comprehensive Plan, Capital Facilities Plan and TIP, as needed Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning, Economic Development (Intergovernmental Relations) Resources: $$$$; Staff time, possible consultant Public Involvement: Present analyses, alternatives and recommendations to the public and solicit feedback at public open houses. Timeframe: Short-term. Dependent on major funding. 6.6.2: Design, fund and construct intersection improvements. Additional Details:  Obtain funding to implement the intersection improvements:  Incorporate into Capital Facilities Plan, Six-Year TIP, and annual budget  Establish funding (impact fees, other)  Pursue grants  Design and construct intersection improvements  Prepare final design and engineering, right-of-way, phasing plans, traffic control plans  Hire contractor  Construct improvements Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Economic Development (Intergovernmental Relations) Resources: $$$$; Staff time, possible consultant; funding for construction. Public Involvement: Solicit input on design concepts from the residents, businesses, and property owners and provide public information for construction. Intersection o f Airport and Logan. Intersection of Bronson and Main. Intersection of Langston and Hardie. Chapter 4 80 City of Renton Timeframe: Following 6.6.1 for each location and as funding is available. 6.7 Improve streets, intersections, and wayfinding at the key civic node located at Bronson Way N, Park Avenue N, N 1st Street, N Riverside Drive, Houser Way S to enhance multi-modal circulation. The City should pursue opportunities to make street and intersection improvements that would improve circulation at this key node (including the intersection at N 1st Street, Park Avenue N, and Bronson Way N). The City’s complete streets standards should be incorporated into all improvements. The City should prepare conceptual designs and traffic studies to evaluate closing of N 1st Street and realigning Park Avenue N to intersect Bronson Way at closer to a 90 degree angle. Access to adjacent properties needs to be facilitated. Pedestrian crossings from the park and civic node to Park Avenue N and to the trail along the Cedar River also should be enhanced. All improvements should be coordinated with the improvements to the civic amenities (discussed in 3.1 and 3.2). Improvements at this intersection should also be coordinated with the closure of Houser Way S which is part of the I-405 improvements just south of the Cedar River. 6.7.1: Conduct design, operations, and safety evaluations to define recommendations for the Civic Node. Additional Details:  Conduct preliminary planning study as a part of this Community Plan.  Operations and safety evaluation to include:  Traffic volumes and forecasts  Traffic safety/collision analyses  Pedestrian needs/safety  Costs/ impacts/feasibility  Incorporate recommendations in Comprehensive Plan, Capital Facilities Plan and TIP, as needed, Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Community Services, Economic Development (Intergovernmental Relations) Resources: $$$$; Staff time, possible consultant Public Involvement: Present analyses, alternatives, and recommendations at public open houses for feedback. Engage the general public, residents, businesses, and property owners. Timeframe: Mid-term. Dependent on major funding. Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 81 6.7.2: Design, fund and construct intersection improvements at the Civic Node. Additional Details:  Obtain funding to implement the intersection improvements:  Incorporate into Capital Facilities Plan, Six-Year TIP, and annual budget  Establish funding (impact fees, other)  Pursue grants  Design and construct intersection improvements  Prepare final design and engineering, right-of-way, phasing plans, traffic control plans  Hire contractor  Construct improvements Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation, Economic Development (Intergovernmental Relations); Support: Community Services Resources: $$$$; Staff time, possible consultant; funding for construction Public Involvement: Solicit public input from the general public, residents, and business and property owners on design concepts and provide public information for construction. Timeframe: Following 6.7.1 as funding is available. Improve streets, intersections, and wayfinding at the key civic node located at Bronson Way N, Park Avenue N, N 1st Street, N Riverside Drive, Houser Way S. Chapter 4 82 City of Renton 6.8 Consider a ‘road diet’ on Rainier Avenue N between the City’s northern boundary and N Airport Way, which would reduce the right-of-way dedicated to vehicular traffic and provide right-of- way space for an enhanced multi-use path for the Lake Washington Loop Trail. The City should consider a roadway configuration that would add a multi-use trail along Rainier Avenue N, improving bicycle connections from the west side of Lake Washington. Coordinate with King County’s plans and configuration for Rainier to plan for possible annexation of the West Hill. 6.8.1: Conduct analyses of operations, safety, and non-motorized needs evaluation to define recommendations for Rainier Ave N. Additional Details:  Alternatives analysis to include:  Traffic volumes and forecasts  Traffic safety/collision analyses  Pedestrian/bicycle needs/safety / separate trail  Costs/impacts/feasibility  Incorporate recommendations in Comprehensive Plan and TIP, as needed Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation Resources: $$; Staff time, possible consultant Public Involvement: Present analyses, alternatives, and recommendations at public open houses for feedback. Engage the general public, residents, businesses, and property owners. Timeframe: Short- to mid-term An example of a road diet could work on Rainier Ave N. Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 83 6.8.2: Design, fund and construct improvements on Rainier Ave N. Additional Details:  Obtain funding to implement the improvements:  Update into Capital Facilities Plan, Six-Year TIP, and annual budget  Establish funding  Pursue grants  Design and construct intersection improvements  Prepare final design and engineering, right-of-way, phasing plans, traffic control plans  Hire contractor  Construct improvements Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation, Economic Development (Intergovernmental Relations) Resources: $$$$; Staff time; possible consultant; funding for construction Public Involvement: Present design concepts to public for feedback and provide construction information. Engage the general public, residents, businesses, and property owners. Timeframe: Following 6.8.1 – Mid to long- term. Dependent on major funding. Rainier Avenue N could benefit from a road diet. Chapter 4 84 City of Renton 6.9 Consider the enhancement of S/SW 7th Street between Rainier Avenue S and Talbot Road S, with bus access improvements, an improved intersection at Talbot Road S, neighborhood traffic calming, and a separated bicycle trail. King County Metro is considering improvements and route changes involving SW 7th Street to facilitate bus circulation and potentially accommodate a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route. The intersection of S 7th Street and Talbot Road S warrants a signal but is not well configured for one. The City Bicycle Plan identifies S/SW 7th Street as an alignment for a future regional bicycle trail. Finally, S 7th Street is the southern edge of the South Renton neighborhood and the community will want to ensure that any improvements to that street enhances the neighborhood edge and does not result in increased traffic or encroachment into the area. Given this spectrum of objectives, there is increasing impetus for a street improvement project. The City should explore opportunities for a multi-objective project, perhaps with intersection and lane improvements with a separated bikeway/greenway on the north side and traffic calming measures that would discourage cut through traffic. 6.9.1: Complete analyses and document recommended concept for improvements for S/SW 7th Street between Rainier Avenue S and Talbot Road S Additional Details:  Study to include:  Traffic volumes and forecasts  Traffic safety / collision analyses  Transit needs  Pedestrian/ bicycle needs/ safety  Costs/ impacts/ feasibility  Incorporate recommendations in Comprehensive Plan and TIP, as needed Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning, King County Metro, Community Services Resources: $$; Staff time, King County Metro; possible consultant Public Involvement: Engage property owners, businesses, residents, and other stakeholders. Timeframe: Short- to mid-term. Dependent on coordination with King County Metro. S 7th Street between Rainier Avenue S and Talbot Road S. Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 85 6.9.2: Design, fund and construct improvements on S/SW 7th Street between Rainier Avenue S and Talbot Road S. Additional Details:  Obtain funding to implement the improvements:  Update into Capital Facilities Plan, Six-Year TIP, and annual budget  Establish funding  King County Metro  Pursue grants  Design and construct intersection improvements  Prepare final design and engineering, right-of-way, phasing plans, traffic control plans  Hire contractor  Construct improvements Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning, King County Metro, Economic Development (Intergovernmental Relations) Resources: $$$$; Staff time; possible consultant; funding for construction Public Involvement: Present design concepts to public for feedback and provide construction information. Engage residents, businesses, and property owners. Timeframe: Mid-term, following 6.9.1. 6.10 Initiate a traffic awareness program for residential streets. A traffic awareness program would help residents and the City understand what the key traffic issues are and would help improve safety for pedestrians and vehicles on residential streets. 6.10.1: Develop a City-wide traffic awareness program. Additional Details: Develop a City-wide traffic awareness program to better understand the specific traffic issues on residential streets. Traffic awareness will help the City and residents understand if the issues are related to speeding, traffic volume, cut-through traffic, or other possible issues. Once the key issues are understood, the City can work with neighborhood groups to identify strategies to help calm traffic. Coordinate with public safety officials to ensure the techniques are compatible with providing emergency services. Create a program in Examples of traffic-calming techniques. Chapter 4 86 City of Renton which neighborhoods can apply to the City for the traffic awareness program and traffic calming measures. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Fire & Emergency Services Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Work with residents and the general public. Timeframe: On-going. 6.11 Continue to improve the overall safety and connections for bicyclists within the City Center. Bike connections to future BRT/LRT stops, as well as to current and future park and ride lots should be provided. The City should ensure that the City’s Bike and Trails Master Plan is consistent with future plans for BRT and LRT stops. The City should also continue to implement the goals and strategies set forth in the City’s Trails and Bicycle Master Plan and the Lake-to-Sound Trail Study. 6.11.1: Establish priority for bicycle improvements consistent with the Trails and Bicycle Master Plan within City Center subarea Additional Details:  Define priority criteria such as connectivity, safety, and costs. Prepare a matrix of projects versus criteria that ranks each project. Use this ranking to prioritize projects.  Incorporate recommendations in Comp Plan and TIP, as needed Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Planning, Community Services Resources: $; Staff time Public Involvement: Engage public through existing forums. Possibly meet with key stakeholders. Timeframe: Short-term to establish project priorities. City’s existing Trails and Bicycle Master Plan. Plan Elements – Transportation City Center Community Plan 87 Goal 6 Summary: Provide better connections between areas within the City Center. Sub-Goal: Establish Park Avenue N as a multi-modal transportation corridor between Coulon Park and Burnett Avenue S. 6.1 Improve Park Avenue N as a key pedestrian connection between Coulon Park, The Landing, North Renton, Downtown, and South Renton with sidewalks, landscaping, wayfinding, public art, and other amenities. 6.2 Consider a streetcar/trolley line, with the first phase running along Park Avenue N connecting Coulon Park, The Landing, Downtown, and the Transit Center. Future phases should connect the South Renton area, Grady Way, and the Sounder station at Longacres. 6.3 Pursue opportunities to extend Park Avenue N north of Logan Avenue N to the waterfront to connect to Southport, future development, potential future water taxi terminal, and Coulon Park. 6.4 Provide connections that allow multiple circulation routes from the Bronson/SR169 area to the vicinity of The Landing. Sub-Goal: Improve connectivity and mobility within the City Center. 6.5 Evaluate necessity and benefits of the one-way streets within the City Center. 6.6 Prioritize improvements to vehicular and pedestrian safety, connectivity, and traffic flow at the following key intersections: 6.7 Improve streets, intersections, and wayfinding at the key civic node located at Bronson Way N, Park Avenue N, N 1st Street, N Riverside Drive, Houser Way S to enhance multi- modal circulation. 6.8 Consider a ‘road diet’ on Rainier Avenue N between the City’s northern boundary and N Airport Way, which would reduce the right-of-way dedicated to vehicular traffic and provide right-of-way space for an enhanced multi-use path for the Lake Washington Loop Trail. 6.9 Consider the enhancement of S/SW 7th Street between Rainier Avenue S and Talbot Road S, with bus access improvements, an improved intersection at Talbot Road S, neighborhood traffic calming, and a separated bicycle trail. 6.10 Initiate a traffic awareness program on residential streets. 6.11 Continue to improve the overall safety and connections for bicyclists within the City Center. Chapter 4 88 City of Renton Plan Elements – Parks, Open Space, and Recreation City Center Community Plan 89 Parks, Open Space, and Recreation Goal 7: Promote and pursue the expansion of, and improve access to, regional recreational trails in the City Center, and build on these key connections as an economic development strategy. 7.1 Continue to increase bike connections within the City Center and work to provide a trail connection between the Green River, Cedar River, and East Lake Washington Trails and implement over time. Build upon the work done in the City’s May 2009 Trails and Bicycle Master Plan and the February 2009 Lake-to-Sound Trail Study to create coordinated bike connections throughout the City Center and to regional trail facilities. A separated trail between the Green River, Cedar River, and East Lake Washington Trails would make Renton’s City Center the hub of Puget Sound regional trails and bring hundreds of thousands of cyclists through the City Center each year. 7.1.1: Continue to work with BNSF, King County, the Port of Seattle, and The Boeing Company to ensure the BNSF corridor is preserved and eventually converted to a rail and trail corridor. Additional Details: The City should continue to work to implement the strategies set forth in the Lake-to-Sound Trail Feasibility Study. In the near term, the rail corridor within the City Center area is needed for use by The Boeing Company. Opportunities to enhance the corridor may be sought, but should not interfere with Boeing’s usage. The City should continue to work with BNSF, King County, Port of Seattle and rail users to ensure that the corridor is preserved and can eventually be converted into a rail and trail corridor. Responsible Party: Lead: Community Services, Transportation; Support: Planning, Economic Development Resources: $$$ Public Involvement: Primarily internal meetings with other public agencies. Timeframe: On-going, Long-term. Dependent on other public and private agencies. Chapter 4 90 City of Renton 7.1.2: Continue to work with the Port of Seattle and King County on providing rail and trail access in the northern area of the City Center, near Coulon Park and Lake Washington Blvd. Additional Details: Working with the Port of Seattle and King County, the City could continue to enhance the bicycle connection to the East Lake Washington Trail. Responsible Party: Lead: Community Services, Transportation; Support: Planning, Economic Development Resources: $$$ Public Involvement: Primarily internal meetings with other public agencies at this initial stage. Timeframe: Mid-term. Dependent on Port of Seattle and King County 7.1.3: Create a conceptual plan and implement a streetscape design for a trail on Houser Way from Burnett to I-405. Additional Details: The City should pursue interim steps to improve the connection between the Green River, Cedar River, and East Lake Washington Trails. Improving the streetscape with bike facilities on Houser Way would improve the bicycle connection in the short-term. Responsible Party: Lead: Community Services; Support: Planning, Economic Development (Intergovernmental Relations), Transportation Resources: $$$ Public Involvement: Engage residents, businesses, and property owners to provide feedback on the conceptual plan and streetscape design. Timeframe: Short-term. 7.1.4: Implement the City’s Trails and Bicycle Master Plan. See the Trails and Bicycle Master Plan for specific implementation details. BNSF corridor. City’s Trails and Bicycle Master Plan. Plan Elements – Parks, Open Space, and Recreation City Center Community Plan 91 7.2 As a long-term goal, provide a connection between the Cedar River and Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. 7.2.1: Continue to work with key property owners (The Boeing Company) to pursue opportunities to provide a trail connection between Coulon Park and the Cedar River Trail. Additional Details: This connection would provide excellent public access to the waterfront as well as provide a key bike and pedestrian connection between the Cedar River Trail and Coulon Park. The City should continue to work and coordinate with The Boeing Company on possible implementation in the future. Responsible Party: Lead: Community Services; Support: Transportation, Planning, Economic Development Resources: $$$$ Public Involvement: Key property owners. Timeframe: Long-term. Dependent on actions of key property owners. Goal 7 Summary: Promote and pursue the expansion of, and improve access to, regional recreational trails in the City Center, and build on these key connections as an economic development strategy. 7.1 Continue to increase bike connections within the City Center and work to provide a trail connection between the Green River, Cedar River, and East Lake Washington Trails and implement over time. 7.2 As a long-term goal, provide a connection between the Cedar River and Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. Lake Washington shoreline at Coulon Park. Chapter 4 92 City of Renton Goal 8: Protect, enhance, and improve public access to and between the natural features in the City Center including Lake Washington, the Cedar River, and its many parks and open spaces. 8.1 Provide a natural shoreline on the Cedar River and Lake Washington shorelines. The City should coordinate with the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) and planning done for the Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) to create a plan for restoring the Cedar River shoreline that balances increasing the ecological functions of the river while providing greater public access opportunities. The plan should prioritize short-term and long-term actions. Similarly, for the Lake Washington shoreline, the City should coordinate with the shoreline property owners to implement the local SMP to create a plan for restoring the shoreline. 8.1.1: Create a plan for the Cedar River and the Lake Washington shorelines that balances the goals of ecological restoration with public access and community development. Additional Details: Coordinate restoration planning efforts with the restoration plan in the City’s SMP. Responsible Party: Lead: Surface Water, Community Services; Support: Planning, Economic Development Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Engage the general public and property owners in public workshops and open houses. Work with neighborhood groups and shoreline property owners in targeted meetings to develop the plan. Timeframe: Mid- to long-term. Dependent on coordination with private property owners. Aerial view of the Lake Washington shoreline. Plan Elements – Parks, Open Space, and Recreation City Center Community Plan 93 8.2 Improve the Cedar River Trail with additional access trails, lights, public art, and amenities. The Cedar River Trail is a very important community amenity, but many participants at the public meetings noted that the trail could be improved to increase the number of people who use the trail and improve the overall safety of the trail. Pedestrian-scaled lights along the trail could help improve safety and increase the number of people who use the trail, especially in the darker winter months. Walkways that connect parking and activity areas should have improved lighting. Priority walkways are the access road that extends beyond the City Center planning area from Liberty Park to Renton Community Center (RCC) and the pedestrian walkway from RCC to the off-leash dog park. The City should also consider increasing the number of access points to the trail and expanding the trail to the opposite side of the river. 8.2.1: Improve Cedar River Trail with additional access points, lights, public art, and amenities. Additional Details: Improving this amenity will increase the usability and safety of the trail. CPTED techniques should be used. Responsible Party: Lead: Community Services; Support: Planning, Public Works Resources: $$$ Public Involvement: Work with the general public, trail users, and residents to identify key access points and desired amenities. Timeframe: Mid-term. Cedar River Trail. Chapter 4 94 City of Renton 8.3 Create a greenway/promenade along the Cedar River. The greenway/promenade would provide additional greenspace for the City Center, improve access to the Cedar River, and provide potential restoration opportunities. 8.3.1: Complete an initial conceptual plan for a greenway/ promenade along the Cedar River. Additional Details: The City should complete a conceptual plan greenway/promenade to naturalize the river corridor, improve recreational opportunities, and increase greenspace. The conceptual plan should balance the goals of naturalizing the river corridor, improving recreational opportunities, increase greenspace, and providing opportunities to experience the water. Permitting requirements, maintainability, and costs will also be considerations in the conceptual design development. The design of the greenway/promenade should utilize existing publicly owned land and existing right-of-way at North and South Riverside Drive as shared roadways. It should also be coordinated with the planning and design of the Civic Node area, which includes Liberty Park, the KCLS Main Renton Library, the Renton History Museum, and the Cedar River (discussed in 3.1), as well as, the Parks, Recreation, and Natural Areas Plan. The City shall not utilize eminent domain in the furtherance of this policy. Responsible Party: Lead: Planning; Support: Community Services, Transportation Resources: $ Public Involvement: This initial phase would not involve a great deal of public engagement and would focus on gathering information for the detailed design. The detailed design (discussed in 8.3.3) would involve the public. Timeframe: Short-term. Artist rendering of what a potential greenway/promenade could look like. Artist rendering of what North and South Riverside Drive(s) could look like. Plan Elements – Parks, Open Space, and Recreation City Center Community Plan 95 8.3.2: Complete a detailed design and implementation strategy for the greenway/promenade based on the conceptual design. Additional Details: Further refine the conceptual plan with ecological restoration goals, cost estimates, and implementation timelines. The detailed plan should also explore opportunities for providing public water access, connecting the pathway to the library, addressing safety, and lighting concerns, integrating pedestrian and bicycle connections, and ensuring properties at North and South Riverside Drive can be accessed. Responsible Party: Lead: Transportation; Support: Community Services, Planning Resources: $$$ Public Involvement: The community should be engaged in the design of the greenway/promenade. The City should work closely with property owners, business owners, and residents. Chapter 4 96 City of Renton 8.4 Increase the amount of both passive and active recreational greenspace in the City Center. The City should seek opportunities to increase greenspace in the City Center. Potential opportunities include extending Burnett Linear Park north to the Cedar River and implementing the Tri-Park Master Plan (discussed in 3.1.2). 8.4.1: Initiate a plan to study the feasibility of extending Burnett Linear Park from S 5th Street to Houser Way. Additional Details: Currently, Burnett Linear Park extends from S 6th Street to S 5th Street and provides valuable greenspace and a small playground for the South Renton community. The City owns the area to the north of S 5th Street, which is currently used as a parking lot. The City should evaluate the parking demand in this area and determine if there is enough parking capacity without the existing parking lot. If there is enough parking capacity, the City should convert this area into a linear park, extending Burnett Linear Park north from S 5th Street to Houser Way. If parking capacity is a problem in this area, the City should consider a combination of park space and parking areas. Responsible Party: Lead: Community Services; Support: Transportation, Planning, Economic Development (Intergovernmental Relations) Resources: $$ Public Involvement: Work with residents, businesses, and property owners that use the existing parking lot. Timeframe: Mid-term. Burnett Linear Park currently provides excellent neighborhood-scale green space and a children’s playground. Plan Elements – Parks, Open Space, and Recreation City Center Community Plan 97 8.4.2: Create a conceptual plan to connect Burnett Linear Park north to the Cedar River. Additional Details: The City should develop a plan to purchase the BNSF property between Burnett Place and Burnett Avenue S and develop an extension of Burnett Linear Park north of S 2nd Street to connect to the Cedar River. Responsible Party: Lead: Community Services; Support: Planning, Economic Development (Intergovernmental Relations) Resources: $$$ Public Involvement. Work with residents, neighborhood groups, property owners and the nearby business community to solicit feedback on the conceptual plan. Timeframe: Mid-term. Goal 8 Summary Protect, enhance, and improve public access to and between the natural features in the City Center including Lake Washington, the Cedar River, and its many parks and open spaces. 8.1 Provide a natural shoreline on the Cedar River and Lake Washington shorelines. 8.2 Improve the Cedar River Trail with additional access trails, lights, public art, and amenities; and as a long-term goal, expand the trail to the opposite side of the river. Burnett Linear Park currently ends at S 5th Street. Chapter 4 98 City of Renton This page intentionally left blank. City Center Community Plan 99 5. Action Strategy While many of the goals, policies, and implementation strategies laid out in this community plan may take longer to implement than the 20-year horizon for this plan and will require additional city resources that currently do not exist, the purpose of this plan is to lay the framework for City actions to create a vibrant City Center. The implementation table on the following pages lists the strategies, who is responsible for implementing each strategy, the resources required, and the time-frame to implement the action. This condensed list can be used by the City and community members to track the progress of this community plan. View of downtown Renton. Chapter 5 100 City of Renton Implementation Chart Resources: $: $0 - $10,000; $$: $10,000 - $50,000; $$$: $50,000 - $100,000; $$$$: $100,000 – up Stakeholders: General Public; Residents; Business stakeholders; Property owners; Other Public Agency Timeframe: Short-term: 1-3 yrs; Mid-term: 4-10 yrs; Long-term: 10-20 yrs Other Related Plans: CP: Comprehensive Plan; PP: Parks Plan; ED: Economic Development Strategy; TIP: Transportation Improvement Plan; CIP: Capital Improvement Plan; RMC: Renton Municipal Code; MMP: Museum Master Plan; A&C MP: Arts and Culture Master Plan; UFP: Urban Forestry Plan Strategy Who $ Are resources currently available? Key Stakeholders Time-frame Other related plans Economic and Community Development 1.1.1 Update existing design standards for the City Center to ensure new development will fulfill the vision. Lead: Planning Support: Economic Development, Community Services $ Yes Residents, Businesses, Property owners Short- term RMC 1.1.2 Create cohesive urban design standards for the public realm that include standards for gateways, wayfinding, street trees, street lighting, pedestrian-scaled lighting, landscaping, street furniture, utilities, and public art. Lead: Planning Support: Transportation, Community Services, Utilities, Economic Development, Fire & Emergency Services $$ Yes Residents, Businesses, Property owners Short- term RMC 1.1.3 Create a distinctive gateway design standard to be implemented at key locations throughout the City Center. Lead: Planning Support: Community Services, Transportation, Economic Development, Renton Municipal Arts Commission $$ Partial General Public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Short- term RMC 1.1.4 Build on the City’s proposed wayfinding system for Downtown and extend it throughout the City Center. Lead: Economic Development Support: Planning, Transportation, Community Services $$ No Residents, Businesses, Property owners Short- term 1.1.5 Work to implement the recommendations from the Arts and Culture Master Plan to expand the presence of art, art activities, and art facilities in the City Center Lead: Economic Development, Renton Municipal Arts Commission Support: Planning $ - $$$$ Partial Renton Municipal Arts Commission, General public On-going A&C MP Action Strategy City Center Community Plan 101 Strategy Who $ Are resources currently available? Key Stakeholders Time-frame Other related plans 1.1.6 Create a building improvement program for buildings within the City Center. Lead: Economic Development Support: Planning, Fire & Emergency Services $$$ No Businesses, Property owners, Financial institutions Mid-term 1.1.7 Underground utilities as development occurs. Lead: Utilities Support: Planning, Economic Development $$$ Yes Businesses, Property owners Mid-term RMC 1.2.1 Consider adopting an historic preservation ordinance that would protect significant historic features throughout the City Center. Lead: Planning Support: Community Services, Renton History Museum, Economic Development $$ No General public, Renton Historical Society Board, stakeholders Mid-term 1.2.2 Coordinate with the Museum Master Plan. Lead: Renton History Museum Support: Economic Development, Planning $ No General public Long- term Museu m MP 1.3.1 Continue efforts to provide a coordinated crime prevention program for Downtown and the City Center as a whole to address crime (both real and perceived). Lead: Police Support: Economic Development, Community Services, Planning, Human Services $$ Yes Residents, Businesses, Property owners Short- term 1.3.2 Continue to work with neighborhood groups to strengthen community policing and neighborhood crime watch programs to improve the overall safety (and the perception of safety) and reduce crime in the City Center neighborhoods. Lead: Police Support: Community Services, Economic Development, Planning $$ Yes Residents, Neighborhood groups On-going 1.3.3 Improve pedestrian-scaled lighting on streets and trails in the City Center. Lead: Transportation Support: Community Services, Economic Development, Planning $$$$ Partial Residents Long- term 1.3.4 Continue to implement emergency management strategies throughout the City Center to ensure the area is prepared for natural disasters and other emergencies. Lead: Fire & Emergency Services $$ Yes Residents, Businesses, Property owners On-going 2.1.1 Implement the City’s Economic Development Strategic Plan Lead: Economic Development $$ Yes Businesses, Property owners, Chamber of Commerce Short- term Chapter 5 102 City of Renton Strategy Who $ Are resources currently available? Key Stakeholders Time-frame Other related plans 2.1.2 Continue to improve incentives to encourage investment and employment in the City Center Lead: Economic Development $$ No Businesses, Property owners Short- term 2.1.3 Continue to support the Renton Small Business Development Center. Lead: Economic Development $ Yes Businesses, SBDC partners On-going 2.1.4 Support business district marketing efforts. Lead: Economic Development Support: Planning $$ Yes Businesses, Property owners Mid-term 2.1.5 Consider ways to identify and promote improved visual appearance of long-term vacant properties. Lead: Economic Development Support: Planning, Renton Municipal Arts Commission $$ Partial Property owners, Residents, Arts community, nonprofits, On-going 2.1.6 Continue to work to improve regional transportation access to the regional employment center, and the City Center as a whole. Lead: Transportation Support: Planning, Economic Development $$ Yes Regional Employers On-going 2.1.7 Determine necessary utilities and infrastructure to support the regional employment center, and the City Center as a whole. Lead: Utilities Support: Economic Development $ Partial Regional Employers, Businesses, Property owners On-going 2.1.8 Continue to review parking management strategies. Lead: Transportation Support: Planning $-$$ Yes General public, Regional Employers, Businesses, Property owners On-going 2.2.1 Create a Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) or Local Improvement District (LID), or utilize other funding mechanisms, to help implement the goals and priorities of businesses in Downtown Renton Lead: Economic Development Support: Community Services $$ No Businesses, Property owners Short- term 2.2.2 Better utilize the Renton Pavilion Event Center Lead: Community Services Support: Economic Development N/A Yes N/A On-going 2.2.3 Initiate a sidewalk café case study and develop tailored regulations to encourage sidewalk cafes in Downtown. Lead: Planning, Economic Development $ Yes General public Short- term 2.2.4 Continue to support community events in Downtown. Lead: Community Services, Economic Development Support: Planning $ Yes General public, Businesses, Non- profits On-going Action Strategy City Center Community Plan 103 Strategy Who $ Are resources currently available? Key Stakeholders Time-frame Other related plans 2.3.1 Consider changing the zoning along Park Ave N from Bronson Way N to N 6th Street to allow small-scale, mixed-use buildings. Lead: Planning Support: Community Services, Economic Development $$ Yes Residents, Businesses, Property owners Mid-term 2.4.1 Consider initiating a feasibility study to select a location for a new City Hall in a central location in the City Center Lead: Community Services Support: Economic Development, Planning $$$ No General public Long- term 3.1.1 Complete a conceptual plan for the civic node Lead: Planning, Community Services Support: Economic Development $$ No General public Short- term Museu m MP 3.1.2 Implement the Tri-Park Master Plan Lead: Community Services Support: Planning, Transportation, Economic Development $$$ No No Long- term PP 3.2.1 Work with KCLS to ensure that plans for the future of Main Renton Library building remains in public use. Lead: Economic Development Support: Community Services, Planning $ Yes No On-going 4.1.1 Implement a property maintenance ordinance in the residential areas of the City Center Lead: Development Services, Planning Support: Community Services, City Attorney $-$$ Yes Residents, Neighborhood Groups Short- term RMC 4.1.2 Develop self-help guides to assist property owners with maintenance. Lead: Planning, Development Services Support: Community Services $-$$ No Residents, Neighborhood Groups Short- term 4.1.3 Pursue the possibility of establishing a bank-operated low-interest loan program to help initiate building improvements. Lead: Economic Development Support: Planning, Community Services $$$ No Banks, Businesses, Property owners Short- term 4.2.1 Consider rezoning the intact, single- family area of the South Renton neighborhood. Lead: Planning Support: Community Services $ Yes Residents, Businesses, Property owners Short- term RMC 4.3.1 Protect edges of single-family areas by improving design standards for the transition areas between zones. See 1.1.1 4.4.1 Initiate a street tree planting program in the residential neighborhoods. Lead: Community Services Support: Planning $$ No Residents, Neighborhood Groups Mid-term Chapter 5 104 City of Renton Strategy Who $ Are resources currently available? Key Stakeholders Time-frame Other related plans 4.4.2 Implement the City’s Urban Forestry Plan Lead: Community Services Support: Planning $- $$$ No General public, Businesses, Property owners Mid-term UFP 4.5.1 Perform a needs assessment for public amenities in each neighborhood Lead: Community Services Support: Planning, Fire & Emergency Management, Economic Development $$ No Residents, Neighborhood Groups Mid-term 4.6.1 Incorporate residential streetscape improvements in the urban design standards for the public realm (Discussed in 1.1.2). Lead: Planning Support: Transportation, Community Services, Utilities, Economic Development, Fire & Emergency Services $$ No Residents, Neighborhood Groups Mid-term RMC 4.7.1 Sign and enforce truck routes Lead: Police Support: Transportation, Fire & Emergency Services $ Yes No On-going RMC 4.7.2 Continue to improve truck routing in the City Center Lead: Police; Support: Fire & Emergency Services, Economic Development, Transportation $ Yes No On-going RMC 4.7.3 Implement traffic awareness strategies on residential streets See 6.10.1 4.8.1 Continue to work with the Renton School District to ensure the City Center is adequately served by school facilities Lead: Planning, Renton School District NA Yes Renton School District to engage public On-going 4.8.2 Continue to provide the full range of human services to meet the needs of all members of the community Lead: Human Services Support: Planning $ - $$$ No Human Services Committee On-going 4.8.3 Ensure universal design techniques are utilized throughout the City Center. Lead: Planning $ - $$$ No NA On-going 4.8.4 Continue to support and promote a diverse population in the City Center. Lead: Executive Support: All Departments $ - $$$ Yes NA On-going Action Strategy City Center Community Plan 105 Strategy Who $ Are resources currently available? Key Stakeholders Time-frame Other related plans Transportation 5.1.1 Continue to coordinate with WSDOT to ensure through-traffic uses I-405 Lead: Transportation Support: Economic Development, City Council, Mayor $$ Yes No Long- term 5.2.1 Prepare a study to evaluate alternatives for SR 900 through Renton. Lead: Transportation Support: Planning, Economic Development $$ No Other Public Agencies, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Long- term TIP 5.2.2 Implement initial improvements to support re-designating SR 900 through Renton Lead: Transportation Support: Planning, Economic Development $$$$ No Other Public Agencies, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Long- term TIP 5.3.1 Study potential impacts and alternatives for changing truck route designation on Park Ave N. Lead: Transportation Support: Police, Economic Development $$ Yes Businesses, Property owners, Truck users Short- term TIP 5.4.1 Continue working with an inter- agency work group to define and evaluate the Rapid Ride F-Line bus service. Lead: Transportation Support: Planning $ Yes No Short- term TIP; unfund ed 5.4.2 Explore the City’s transit options and establish a preferred strategy/ option for BRT, LRT and other transit strategies for the City, especially possible extension north from Downtown Renton Lead: Transportation Support: Planning, Community Services $$$- $$$$ No General public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Mid-term 5.5.1 Explore financial feasibility and operational needs for a water taxi service, facility needs in Renton, and possible routes. Lead: Economic Development Support: Transportation, Planning, Community Services $$ No General public, Property owners, KC Metro, Private operators Mid-term 5.5.2 Implement recommendations for a Renton water taxi Lead: Economic Development Support: Transportation, Planning, Legal, Community Services $$$$ No General public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Mid-term 5.6.1 Conduct a feasibility study to determine necessity for and choose a location for a potential parking garage in the north end of the City Center to support transit, water taxi, and other transportation needs Lead: Transportation Support: Planning, Community Services $$$$ No Other Public Agencies, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Long- term Chapter 5 106 City of Renton Strategy Who $ Are resources currently available? Key Stakeholders Time-frame Other related plans 5.6.2 Work with Sound Transit and King County Metro to fund, design, and construct the parking garage Lead: Transportation Support: City Council, Finance, Planning, Economic Development $$$$ No General Public, Other Public Agencies, Long- term 6.1.1 Conduct a detailed design study for Park Ave N. Lead: Transportation Support: Planning, Community Services, Economic Development $$- $$$ No General Public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Mid-term, 6.1.2 Implement design for Park Ave N Lead: Transportation Support: Economic Development, Planning, Finance $$$$ No General Public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Long- term 6.2.1 Conduct a feasibility study exploring the financial feasibility and operational needs for a streetcar along Park Avenue N with potential expansion in the future Lead: Transportation Support: Planning, Economic Development $$ No General public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners, Long- term 6.2.2 Implement the recommendations from the streetcar feasibility study Lead: Transportation Support: Planning, Legal, Administration, Economic Development $$$$ No General public Long- term 6.3.1 Develop preliminary design concepts and implementation strategy for Park Ave N extension Lead: Transportation Support: Economic Development, Planning, Community Services $$$$ No Property owners, Potential developers Short- term In Six- Year TIP 6.4.1 Develop study to define recommended circulation plan with I-405 widening improvements in place Lead: Transportation Support: Planning $$$$ No Other Public Agencies, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Long- term 6.5.1 Conduct detailed traffic and circulation analyses for each one- way corridor/ couplet and select preferred action Lead: Transportation Support: Economic Development, Community Services, Planning $$$$ No General Public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Phased 6.6.1 Conduct operations and safety evaluation to define recommendations for each key intersection Lead: Transportation Support: Planning, Economic Development $$$$ No General Public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Short- term 6.6.2 Design, fund and construct intersection improvements Lead: Transportation Support: Economic Development $$$$ No General public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Following 6.6.1 for each location Action Strategy City Center Community Plan 107 Strategy Who $ Are resources currently available? Key Stakeholders Time-frame Other related plans 6.7.1 Conduct design, operations and safety evaluations to define recommendations for Civic Node Lead: Transportation Support: Community Services, Economic Development $$$$ No General public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Mid-term 6.7.2 Design, fund and construct intersection improvements at Civic Node Lead: Transportation, Economic Development Support: Community Services $$$$ No General public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Following 6.7.1 for each location 6.8.1 Conduct analyses of operations, safety, and non-motorized needs evaluation to define recommendations for Rainier Ave N Lead: Transportation $$ No General public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Short to mid-term 6.8.2 Design, fund and construct improvements on Rainier Ave N Lead: Transportation, Economic Development $$$$ Yes General public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Following 6.8.1 TIP 6.9.1 Complete analyses and document recommended concept for improve- ments for S/SW 7th Street between Rainier Avenue S and Talbot Road S Lead: Transportation Support: Community Services, Planning, King County Metro $$ Yes Residents, Businesses, Property owners Short to mid-term In current TIP 6.9.2 Design, fund and construct improvements on S/SW 7th Street between Rainier Avenue S and Talbot Road S Lead: Transportation Support: Planning, King County Metro, Economic Development $$$$ No Residents, Businesses, Property owners Mid-term, following 6.9.1 TIP 6.10.1 Develop a City-wide traffic awareness program. Lead: Transportation; Support: Fire & Emergency Services $$ Yes General public, Residents On-going 6.11.1 Establish priority for bicycle improvements consistent with the Trails and Bicycle Master Plan within City Center subarea Lead: Transportation Support: Planning, Community Services $ Yes General public Short term TIP Chapter 5 108 City of Renton Strategy Who $ Are resources currently available? Key Stakeholders Time-frame Other related plans Parks, Open Space, and Recreation 7.1.1 Continue to work with BNSF, King County, the Port of Seattle, and The Boeing Company to ensure the BNSF corridor is preserved and eventually converted to a rail and trail corridor Lead: Community Services, Transportation Support: Planning, Economic Development $$$ No Other public agency On-going, Long- term 7.1.2 Continue to work with the Port of Seattle and King County on providing rail and trail access in the northern area of the City Center, near Coulon Park and Lake Washington Blvd Lead: Community Services, Transportation Support: Planning, Economic Development $$$ No Other public agency Mid-term 7.1.3 Create a conceptual plan and implement a streetscape design for a trail on Houser Way from Burnett to I-405 Lead: Community Services Support: Planning, Economic Development, Transportation $$$ No Residents, Businesses, Property owners Short- term PP 7.1.4 Implement the City’s Trails and Bicycle Master Plan See plan for details 7.2.1 Continue to work with key property owners (The Boeing Company) to pursue opportunities to provide a trail connection between Coulon Park and the Cedar River Trail. Lead: Community Services Support: Transportation, Planning, Economic Development $$$$ No Key Property owners Long- term PP 8.1.1 Create a plan for the Cedar River and the Lake Washington shorelines that balances the goals of ecological restoration with public access and community development. Lead: Surface Water, Community Services Support: Planning, Economic Development $$ No General public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Mid- to long-term PP 8.2.1 Improve Cedar River Trail with additional access points, lights, public art, and amenities. Lead: Community Services Support: Planning, Public Works $$$ No General public, Residents, Mid-term PP 8.2.2 Create a plan to expand the trail to the opposite side of the river. Lead: Community Services Support: Planning $$$$ No General public Long- term PP 8.3.1 Complete an initial conceptual plan for a greenway/ promenade between the Cedar River and N 1st Street. Lead: Community Services Support: Planning, Transportation $ No None in this initial phase Short- term PP 8.3.2 Consider zoning changes to properties to allow for small-scale retail and concessions as a part of the promenade. Lead: Planning $ Residents, Businesses, Property owners Mid-term RMC Action Strategy City Center Community Plan 109 Strategy Who $ Are resources currently available? Key Stakeholders Time-frame Other related plans 8.3.3 Complete a detailed design and implementation strategy for the greenway/ promenade based on the conceptual design Lead: Community Services, Planning Support: Transportation $$$ No General public, Residents, Businesses, Property owners Mid-term PP 8.4.1 Initiate a plan to study the feasibility of extending Burnett Linear Park from S 5th Street to Houser Way Lead: Community Services Support: Transportation, Planning, Economic Development $$ No Residents, Businesses, Property owners Mid-term PP 8.4.2 Create a conceptual plan to connect Burnett Linear Park north to the Cedar River Lead: Community Services Support: Economic Development, Planning $$$ No Residents, Neighborhood Groups, Businesses, Property owners Mid-term PP Chapter 5 110 City of Renton Conclusion The past two decades have seen dramatic changes in Renton’s City Center. The City’s commitment to the Downtown and new growth in other parts of the City Center make it one of the liveliest and well-balanced urban centers in south King County. These accomplishments leave Renton poised to address future challenges and opportunities, which promise to be just as dramatic as those of the past 20 years. This community plan is a modest first step toward a more in-depth effort that will require significant engagement between the City and its partners in the business community and the neighborhoods, among others, which will help Renton achieve its vision. In order to implement the vision of this community plan, the City and community should focus on the following four elements:  Creating a vibrant Downtown.  Protecting and enhancing the residential neighborhoods.  Connecting activities and attractions within the City Center.  Taking advantage of the emerging opportunities related to regional transportation. Within these four elements is a broad spectrum of activities that the City and its partners can initiate. All of the implementation strategies set forth in this plan are important, but focusing on these four concepts will have the greatest transformational impact on the City Center. Creating a Vibrant Downtown Focusing energy Downtown and creating a place where people want to spend time will help make the rest of the City Center a more attractive place where people want to live, work, learn, and play. As discussed in this plan, the City should focus on the following actions for Downtown:  Establishing an LID or BID (or other funding mechanism) for Downtown businesses for physical improvements, parking strategies, security, community events, and marketing programs  Improve safety  Expand wayfinding program  Support events that draw people to Downtown such as the Farmers Market, the arts, Holiday Lights, and IKEA Renton River Days. Add additional activities at the Renton Pavilion Event Center Action Strategy City Center Community Plan 111 Enhancing Residential Neighborhoods The residential neighborhoods in the City Center should continue to be supported and enhanced to ensure there is a strong, stable residential population in the City Center. The following neighborhood improvement actions and programs should be pursued:  Initiate traffic awareness program  Initiate a tree planting program  Implement small-scale street and park improvements  Provide assistance programs for home improvements and establishment of a maintenance ordinance  Expand block watch program  Update development regulations Connecting the City Center Currently, the City Center is not well-connected, making it difficult to get from one place to another to enjoy the amenities in the City Center. Improving connectivity and access in the City Center will be critical to make it a more vibrant and livable area, including pedestrian, bike, transit, and vehicular improvements. The improvements on Park Avenue North, including a potential streetcar, will be critical to improve connectivity in the City Center. Transportation Plan Transportation is a keystone issue to the success of this community plan, including enhancing regional access, serving local activities, or mitigating congestion and traffic safety impacts. Implementation of the transportation actions, in particular, is complicated because they are often dependent upon the activities of other agencies and organizations such as WSDOT, Sound Transit, major employers, and BNSF. It is also complicated by the fact that actions by these agencies all impact each other in different ways. The City should undertake the City Center transportation plans that prepare it to engage other agencies and organizations as they undertake their actions. Such plans may include:  Comprehensive study of how changes to I-405 interchanges, SR-900, and the one-way streets would work together.  Exploration of highway designation and arterial improvement options, including alternative truck routes  Evaluation of preferred BRT and LRT routes  Parking and access strategies, including evaluation of parking structure options for the northern part of the City Center Addressing the City Center’s complex transportation challenges is the keystone of a sound redevelopment strategy. A multi-modal perspective, as already initiated with the Transit Center, is critical. Chapter 5 112 City of Renton  Evaluation of internal circulation options including reconfiguration of one-way streets and addressing circulation around the Main/Park/Bronson node  Identification of preferred BNSF track configuration  Implications of future land use changes, especially redevelopment of large industrial sites  Recommendations on the interface between travel modes (i.e. between Sound Transit and a streetcar or between bicyclists and King County Metro)  Discussion of a water taxi and incorporation of existing feasibility studies Identification of other intersection and roadway improvements Oversight and Stewardship Implementing this plan will be an on-going process that will take the vigilance of City staff, residents, property owners, employers, and employees. Formally designating a body to oversee this plan will be an important factor in ensuring implementation. The body should be empowered to have oversight of the implementation, including monitoring and evaluating the progress of implementation. The body should be made up of key community stakeholders. If these key stakeholders are successful at implementing the steps laid out in this community plan, the City Center will be a vibrant, attractive place to live, to work, and to enjoy. The recommended form of oversight is a Community Plan Stewardship Committee (Committee) that consists of residents, small business owners, large business representatives, property owners, social service organizations and non-profit groups, and at-large community members. The Committee will meet a few times a year to review the progress of implementation of the plan. The main responsibility of the Committee will be to prioritize the strategies within the plan and to ensure the City takes action on these priorities. Based on these priorities, the Committee will make recommendations to City departments on their annual work plans, budget allocations, Capital Improvement Program, and Transportation Improvement Program. The Committee will make formal recommendations on the key work items and related budgets to the City Council once a year. Action Strategy City Center Community Plan 113 PSRC Certification and Consistency A portion of the City Center is a designated regional growth center (see map below). As part of the mandatory certification and consistency review of designated centers, the City is obligated to address and respond to the Centers evaluation and criteria as shown in Appendix B.