McGraw Square re-opens

Westlake Streetcar Plaza (aka McGraw Square) was reopened in a ceremony yesterday. The SDOT blog has coverage of the ceremony. From the Times:

Mayor Mike McGinn, who presided over the dedication, said the plaza will create a pedestrian-friendly island in the heart of downtown Seattle. He said it’s one of three transportation hubs serving downtown.

The new plaza, at the end of the South Lake Union streetcar line, between Olive Way and Stewart Street, was built with a $900,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation.

Officials envision it filled with trees and tables, even food vendors.

Its location will make it easier to travel around downtown, with connections from the streetcar to the Monorail, light rail and the downtown bus tunnel, said those at the dedication.

There is a lot of potential for this plaza. At a minimum, the area has instantly become more pedestrian-friendly, but its success as a public space will be determined based on how well it is used.

As the trees that dot the area sprout leaves in spring and grow larger over the years, the space will likely feel more inviting and less exposed. People will spend time in the space to wait for the streetcar, but the plaza likely won’t become a lunchtime gathering spot until the city changes its restrictive food cart policies.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what happens. Anyone else have any thoughts?


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