Today the kiosk at 5th and Union will be removed and the sidewalk restored. The removal of the kiosk will require a crane and in addition to obstructing pedestrian traffic, will also close two lanes of vehicle traffic. (View Larger Map)
This kiosk will be the third kiosk that has been removed of the five that were originally installed. These kiosks were installed from Pine to Seneca as part of a 1978 Fifth Avenue Improvement project. While originally well-intended, and probably an enhancement to the pedestrian experience at the time, the kiosks have not been used in a few years and are an obstruction to the pedestrian right of way.
The kiosks are privately owned by the adjacent property owners and this removal was requested by the Metropolitan Improvement District. According to SDOT, the MID “worked with the Department of Neighborhoods and the Seattle Department of Transportation to obtain the grant from the Neighborhood Projects Fund to pay for the removal.” These kiosks currently house an electrical box, so SDOT is involved to replace the existing electrical box with a less obtrusive structure. The MID hopes to have the remaining two kiosks removed over the next four years.