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Economic Development News
Downtown Mobility Study

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. 

Storefront Studio News

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On Wednesday, February 24th and Thursday, February 25th, the Downtown Mobility Study consultant team, led by project manager Fehr & Peers, held two days of concentrated community engagement activity at their ‘Storefront Studio’ event in Downtown Burien.

The event was held at the Discover Burien office, and in Burien Town Square park, and provided community members, businesses, and stakeholders the chance to drop in, speak directly with staff and consultants, see work in-progress, learn about the process, take part in activities, and make suggestions to inform the study.

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Each day from Noon - 1:00pm, the consultant team also led a walking tour through the downtown to evaluate opportunities, with themes including: alleyways, streetscapes, pedestrian facilities and transit connections.


The studio concluded with a public evening workshop at Burien City Hall, providing an opportunity for participants to engage with and comment on emerging plan goals and strategies.

More than 100 people participated in the Storefront Studio event and provided valuable feedback to the consultants on current conditions and ideas for future improvements. Concepts that came out of the storefront studio were also presented for additional feedback to the Business and Economic Development Partnership at their February 26th meeting and the Planning Commission meeting on March 9th.

The consultant team will be offering additional community engagement via online surveys between now and the scheduled study completion date in July. More information on the status of the Downtown Mobility Study will be provided by Fehr & Peers at the City Council Study Session on May 23rd.

Stay tuned to this website for additional opportunities to engage on mobility in Burien!


Downtown Mobility Study Consultant Team

Project Manager:
Fehr & Peers 
Kendra Breiland

Urban Design:
John Owen

Economic Analysis:
ECO Northwest
Morgan Shook

Community Engagement:
Studio Cascade
William Grimes

Civil Engineering:
Robin Thaler

400 SW 152nd St, Suite 300  /  Burien, WA 98166  /  Ph: (206) 241-4647  /  Fax: (206) 248-5539
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