Now that the City Council has delivered Seattle from the evil of new-era car services, the council members are turning their attentions to other important issues of city living — including “Improving the Look and Placement of Newspaper and Periodical Vending Boxes.” Council member Tom Rasmussen:
One challenge of keeping our sidewalks downtown and in our neighborhoods reasonably safe and attractive is managing the use and appearance of newspaper and periodical vending boxes. It is not unusual to see them damaged or covered with graffiti and stickers or used as trash bins. In some cases a dozen or more are lined up at the curb in many states of disrepair and damage.
A plan three years in the marking has resulted in:
- A shared understanding of the expectations for vending box maintenance
- A new web-based tool (currently in final development) that will enable joint reporting (city, external stakeholders and the general public) of vending box maintenance issues, and enable us to track metrics on repairs and frequently tagged locations
- A construction coordination requirement for public and private construction projects requiring noticing and coordination with vending box owners for the period of construction and returning the boxes to a reasonable location after construction is complete
- SDOT will be taking a more active role in enforcement, after all other avenues of repair/replacement/outreach by the publishers has occurred
- The stakeholder group will continue to meet monthly (or as needed) to share information, review data from the soon to be launched website and confer on any other modifications needed to the rule or the code in order to keep vending boxes in good repair.
Not addressed, apparently, are the stacks of unread, unwanted papers left in the entrances to buildings and local businesses as part of the “circulation” process.
Really, anything to help keep things tidy around here should be appreciated. We just hope the process didn’t slow down these hotly anticipated leaf blower regulations.