eNewsletter for the week of May 13

Exciting changes
are coming to
Downtown Pullman!

Project Downtown is a multi-year city-led effort to reshape downtown Pullman’s streets and public spaces to build community, experiences, and economy.

Project Updates

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Project Downtown is a multi-year City-led effort to reshape Downtown Pullman’s streets and public spaces to build community, experiences, and economy. Project Downtown includes projects identified in the Downtown Master Plan and the first phase of the project will establish project priorities.
The goal of Project Downtown Pullman is to make long-term improvements to streetscape and public spaces that foster a thriving community and downtown economy. With wider sidewalks, businesses can offer outdoor seating and sidewalk sales without impeding pedestrians. Enhanced public spaces will create opportunities for gatherings, while improved wayfinding signage will help everyone discover downtown’s fantastic amenities. Any construction project is disruptive to impacted businesses, residents, and community members. The City of Pullman, the Downtown Pullman Association, and the Pullman Chamber of Commerce are committed to working with businesses to mitigate the impact of construction.
The City of Pullman hired Welch Comer Engineers to lead phase one of Project Downtown Pullman. To guide Welch Comer, the City of Pullman appointed a Steering Committee of eight community members who own business or property in downtown Pullman. The Steering Committee also includes representatives from the Downtown Pullman Association and the Pullman City Council.
Interested community members are invited to sign up at www.projectdowntownpullman.org/contact to receive ongoing communication about Project Downtown Pullman.
Information about Project Downtown Pullman, including an extensive booklet providing the benefits and tradeoffs of concept designs, is available online, at www.projectdowntownpullman.org.
Reconstruction of Main Street will include all new sidewalks, free of trip hazards and inclusive of ADA-compliant pedestrian ramps at all corners. Additional ADA-compliant parking will be introduced, including van-accessible stalls on each block. ADA-compliant diagonal parking stalls will be added on Pine and Kamiaken Streets for easier loading. Extended sidewalk curb bulbs will shorten crosswalk distances, making it easier and safer for mobility-challenged community members to cross streets.
Main Street, as well as Grand Avenue, are Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) highways. Both streets function as arterial streets in Pullman’s vehicular transportation network, and the intersection of Grand Avenue and Main Street plays a particularly important role in moving vehicles through Pullman. ​ WSDOT uses a letter grading system to measure the level of service on its roads, with “A” being the best and “F” an unacceptable level of service rating. In its current configuration, the intersection of Main Street and Grand Avenue functions at a Level of Service D, which is acceptable in a downtown environment. In the planned reconfiguration, the intersection will remain at a Level of Service D. Traffic modeling suggests that based on Pullman’s growth, the level of service at the Grand and Main intersection will fall to a level F in 5-10 years. The concept design phase explored removing parallel parking on Grand Avenue to introduce an additional lane of traffic in each direction to improve level of service. After extensive feedback from adjacent property and business owners, the final design retains one lane of traffic in each direction, a center turn lane, and parallel parking on both sides of Grand Avenue. The final design enables conversion of the road to two lanes in each direction with simple surface striping modifications should the need arise in the future. ​ It should be noted that the Grand Avenue project is considered an Add Alternate. Work will only be done on Grand Avenue if bids are favorable and funding is available.
This was reviewed extensively, and after careful evaluation, Main Street needs to remain multiple lanes of westbound traffic to accommodate overall traffic volumes and trucks turning north onto Grand Avenue. It is not possible to move trucks onto Paradise Street because the acute angle of the northeast corner of the intersection, where Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant is located, is too sharp for truck turning movements.
After careful consideration and consultation from a team of professional landscape architects and arborists, the City Council determined that retention of the existing street trees would be inconsistent with the project’s goals to eliminate trip hazards in sidewalks and create more space for people-centric activities, like sidewalk dining and outdoor retail sales. ​ The existing trees will be removed and replaced with appropriately sized new trees. The new trees will be set in tree wells and surrounded by a section of floating sidewalk that will enable tree root growth to minimize sidewalk damage.
Main Street and Grand Avenue are state highways that play a big part of the regional vehicular transportation network, especially for vehicles moving north and east through Pullman. ​ The City of Pullman has applied for funding to study alternative truck routes, also known as freight routes. The best long-term solution is to construct a bypass, which will require significant federal and state funding to complete. At this time, funding for such construction is not available.
January 2022
Concept Phase
In early 2022, the City of Pullman hired a diverse team of consultants in traffic modeling, utilities design, landscape architecture, and public engagement to develop a concept design for infrastructure that brings downtown Pullman closer to the community’s vision of a walkable downtown with vibrant retail businesses. The concept design objective was to expand to the extent possible and enhance spaces for people-centric activities.
August 9, 2022
Concept Approval
The final concept design reflects public engagement from individual property and business owners, stakeholder groups, and the general public, as well as input from a Steering Committee of stakeholders. The concept design was approved by the Pullman City Council on August 9, 2022.
September 2022
Design Phase
Following approval of the concept design phase, the City of Pullman asked the same consulting team to proceed with the final design of the projects identified as a priority for Project Downtown Pullman. This detailed work involved consulting team members in landscape design, forestry, utilities design, traffic engineering, and input from the Project Downtown Pullman Steering Committee, the City of Pullman’s professional staff, and impacted stakeholder groups.
January 10, 2023
Design Presentation

The consulting team presented the 60% complete final design of Project Downtown Pullman to the Pullman City Council on January 10, 2023.

The consulting team will use the feedback received from the City Council on January 10, as well as information provided by the Steering Committee and impacted stakeholders, to further refine the final design for Project Downtown Pullman.

February 28, 2023
Design Revision
The consulting team presented the 90% complete final design to the Pullman City Council on Tuesday, February 28, 2023,. Video of that presentation is available on the City of Pullman's YouTube channel at the following link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH0_Zf6Cc0s
March 14, 2023
Sub Label
Project Delay
On March 14, 2023, the Pullman City Council unanimously voted to modify the timeline for construction of Project Downtown Pullman. Citing factors such as timely project completion, supply chain issues, anticipated contractor availability, and the potential economic impact on downtown businesses still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pullman City Council delayed the bidding process to the fall of 2023 in anticipation of staring construction in April 2024, after the WSU Family Weekend.
November 30, 2023
First request for construction bids

The City of Pullman releases a request for proposals (RFP) for general contractors to bid on the construction phase of the project. No bids are received, and as a result, the project construction timeline is extended from three months to six months.

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