The city is working to create a Curb Management Plan (CMP) that will provide a new, long-range planning vision for designating, maintaining, and operating curbside areas – borders between streets and sidewalks – in Bellevue’s most dense neighborhoods. The CMP will allow for informed decisions on how curb spaces should be managed as the city continues to grow rapidly and competition for this urban space increases.
More than just parking
Curb areas traditionally have been used for on-street parking, bus stops, travel lanes and similar transportation functions. However, over the last decade, new mobility options for moving people and goods have grown, making curbside areas increasingly more valuable and dynamic. Examples:
- Rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft
- Employer-operated shuttles, such as Microsoft’s Connector service
- Urban freight delivery providers, such as UPS, FedEx and Amazon
- Curbside charging stations for electric vehicles
- “Micromobility” providers that rent scooters and bicycles
- On-street dining areas
- Green areas, or “parklets,” that enhance the urban environment
Bellevue’s rapid growth – especially in the Downtown, BelRed and Wilburton areas – is putting pressure on the city’s infrastructure; curbside zones are anticipated to handle a significant portion of this increased activity. Forward-thinking solutions will be needed to accommodate the wide menu of curbside uses. The Curb Management Plan will provide a high-level planning framework to help guide the evolution of the city’s curb areas.
The final CMP document will include resources that can be used by members of the public, as well as by city staff. A curbside “playbook” will offer a multitude of options for curbside permitting, design, and usage. A “prioritization framework” will allow planners to better designate specific uses for curb spaces. The CMP document will also include a financial analysis of potential revenue opportunities for future curbside uses.
Over the years, the city’s comprehensive plan provided guidance on policies and operational procedures for curbside management. Specific policies include:
- Downtown subarea policies: S-DT-135, S-DT-157.1, S-DT-157.2 and DT-157.3
- Transportation policies: TR-128 and TR-143
At its Feb. 14, 2022 meeting, Bellevue City Council will provide direction to develop new and updated policies in support of the CMP project. Updated policy language is expected to be incorporated in the city’s Comprehensive Plan to better respond to rapid growth and the quickly changing mobility landscape. The city’s Transportation Commission and Planning Commission will review and recommend policies for Council consideration later in 2022.
How to get involved
The Bellevue Transportation Commission and a team of city staff will advise the City Council on development of the Curb Management Plan. In addition to an online questionnaire and a curb summit in early 2022, there have been opportunities to provide feedback on the plan at several Transportation Commission meetings starting in March 2022.
The Curb Management Plan effort began in November 2021. The City Council is anticipated to adopt curb-related policies in late 2022 and is anticipated to adopt the plan itself in early 2023.
The Bellevue Transportation Commission will help guide the development of the CMP. The commission will be supported by city staff and the consultant firm Nelson\Nygaard. Any amendments to comprehensive plan policies recommended by the Transportation Commission will proceed through the Planning Commission before a final decision by the City Council.
The city council approved a professional services contract in the amount of $247,786 for work on the Curb Management Plan.
- Planning Commission agenda item on comprehensive plan amendment (March 9, 2022)
- Curbside Technology Performance Assessment Report (February 2022)
- Curb Management Plan news release (Feb. 17, 2022)
- Transportation Commission memo with background information and project scope (Jan. 6, 2022)
- Curb Management Plan professional services contract information (Nov. 15, 2021, city council meeting)
- 106th Avenue NE Curbside Management Pilot final report (when available)
- Curbside management pilot news release (Dec. 10, 2019)