Sustainable Communities Downtown Plan
The City of Arlington contracted with Western Washington University Sustainable Communities program to create a downtown corridor plan with community input during the 2019-2020 academic year.
The City of Arlington has worked hard over the last several years on initiatives to revitalize the downtown corridor. To further this work, we desire to have a strategic long-term plan that addresses retaining the character of the area, identifying improvements, capitalizing on the Centennial Trail, expanding the physical main street area, utilizing the main street programs, and identifying smart growth initiatives.
The work contained in the reports was coordinated through Western Washington University’s (WWU) Sustainable Communities Partnership Program (SCP) between the City of Arlington and Huxley College of the Environment’s Urban Transitions Planning Studio. The partnership, initiated in the fall of 2019, involved a series of three urban planning courses, led by faculty instructors, 21 student participants, the SCP coordinator, and support staff from the City of Arlington, business leaders, and members of the Arlington community.
The planning study commenced the fall of 2019, where baseline data was collected and analyzed. During this period, a community-visioning workshop was conducted to ascertain the community’s preferences with respect to future growth opportunities and improvements to the Arlington downtown study area.
In winter quarter 2020, the study advanced into the urban design stage. Students analyzed the responses from the community-visioning event, and applying best management planning practices and sustainable development principles, prepared a series of preliminary concepts and recommendations that address the potential and capacity for urban infill, business expansion, hazards risk reduction, and improvements to transportation systems, parks, trails, open space, and public parking capacity. The draft concepts were then presented at a community public meeting held in February 2020. Community feedback to the preliminary urban design concepts was further analyzed, and a refined urban design proposal was presented through a virtual community meeting held in April 2020 using the Zoom platform. See Report 2, Winter 2020 for details of the winter quarter work.
In the final report, recommendations are presented to identify opportunities and strategies that encourage urban infill to meet long-term population growth demands and enhancements to the urban character of the Arlington downtown. Planning recommendations provide for increased integration of the Centennial Trail with the downtown, the transition of West Avenue and MacLeod Avenue to residential and mixed use districts, street improvements to provide for increased on-street parking and pedestrian and bicycle safety, the provision of structured public parking facilities, and the development of pedestrian-centered public and retail square on Olympic Avenue.
The City will work with the public to plan and budget for appropriate strategies recommended in the plans. For more information, contact Sarah Lopez, Community Engagement Director at email@example.com.