The city is working to create a Curb Management Plan that will provide a new, long-range vision for designating, maintaining and operating curbside areas – borders between streets and sidewalks – in Bellevue’s densest neighborhoods. The plan 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 include:
- 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 Curbside Management Plan will provide a high-level planning framework to help guide the evolution of the city’s curb areas.
The plan will include resources that can be used by members of the public, as well as by city staff. A curbside “guide” will act as a reference for curbside permitting, design and usage. A “prioritization framework” will allow planners to better designate specific uses for curb spaces. The plan will also include strategies, financial analyses and recommendations to improve the management of curbside demands.
Over the years, the city’s Comprehensive Plan provided guidance on policies and operational procedures for curbside management. On Feb. 14, 2022, the City Council directed staff to develop new and updated policies in support of a Curbside Management Plan. Updated policy language will be incorporated into 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 have reviewed and discussed recommendations in support of curb management throughout 2022. The council will consider policy recommendations in late 2022.
How to get involved
People are welcome to attend and provide feedback at Transportation Commission and City Council meetings throughout 2022 and early 2023. Subject material for the Curb Management Plan will be presented at upcoming meetings.
Earlier in 2022, the project team received public feedback through numerous settings, including an online questionnaire, focus groups and a Curb Summit event. Public feedback can be reviewed in the Engagement Summary report and the EngagingBellevue.com survey summary. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on this initiative.
The CMP 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 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 decision by the City Council.
The city council approved a professional services contract in the amount of $247,786 for work on the CMP.
Project background materials
- Transportation Commission agenda item: curb typology and pricing details (Oct. 13, 2022)
- Planning Commission agenda item: Comprehensive Plan amendments (Sept. 14, 2022)
- Transportation Commission agenda item: curb pricing analysis (July 14, 2022)
- Planning Commission agenda item: Comprehensive Plan amendment review and action (June 22, 2022)
- Transportation Commission agenda item: Comprehensive Plan amendment recommendation (June 9, 2022)
- Transportation Commission agenda item: introduction to curb pricing (June 9, 2022)
- Transportation Commission agenda item: Comprehensive Plan amendment discussion (May 12, 2022)
- Transportation Commission agenda item: introduction to Comprehensive Plan amendments (April 28, 2022)
- Transportation Commission agenda item: existing curb conditions (March 10, 2022)
- Planning Commission agenda item: Comprehensive Plan amendment (March 9, 2022)
- City Council agenda item: project background and action (Feb. 14, 2022)
- Transportation Commission memo: background information and project scope (Jan. 6, 2022)
- Curb Management Plan professional services contract information (Nov. 15, 2021, City Council meeting)