With Downtown Burien recognized by the Puget Sound Regional Council as one of 25 regional growth centers, the City has prioritized the need to plan for increased density and transportation management in the short and long term. In support of those goals, the City has initiated a Downtown Mobility Study to provide guidelines for a creative toolbox of policies and other regulatory amendments to the Zoning Code.
As millennials enter the workforce and baby boomers downsize from their traditional family homes, companies are choosing to locate in walkable downtowns because that’s where these talented and experienced workers want to be. While many companies have relocated to urban areas, the increasing costs of living and doing business in a major metropolis have spurred interest in suburban edge cities. Rather than suburban office parks, walkable mixed-use suburban cities are attracting the most interest from new or relocating businesses. Burien has the potential to provide the qualities that these companies and individuals look for by offering a desirable downtown neighborhood.
Across the region, residents are supporting locations where they have the opportunity to drive and park once to complete multiple tasks, or to use public transit, walk, or ride their bike. Additionally, businesses and employees value connectivity and a range of transportation, housing, and entertainment options. The ease of travel to and from Burien, affordable lease rates, and an active community offer a strong base from which to attract jobs and residents.
The mobility study will identify and evaluate strategies to support an integrated multimodal transportation system for the Downtown and Old Burien zones. While a parking study is included as an element of the evaluation, the consultant team is studying a combined and cohesive strategy to balance parking and vehicle circulation, transit access, land use regulations, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian facilities, alley activation, arts and cultural identity, economic growth, and stormwater management. This study will account for the varying needs of land uses and business types within the District by engaging with community members, business owners, and City Council and staff. The City is looking beyond standard transportation planning and envisions creation of a framework to support all elements of a thriving multi-use zone.