Olympia is striving to build a well-connected network of small streets that are safe and inviting for walking and biking as well as driving.
A well connected street grid means:
Street Connectivity Policy Background
- Short, direct routes for all users
- People can walk, bike and access transit more easily
- More efficient access for emergency vehicles and other services
- More route options during construction or street closures
- Reduced need to widen roads and intersections, creating a more human-scale street system
- Narrower streets with fewer lanes, which minimizes vehicle volumes and speeds
- Smaller intersections, which are easier for bicyclists and motorists to navigate
- Reduced vehicle miles travelled by motor vehices, thereby reduced pollution
Street connectivity is emphasized in the Olympia Comprehensive Plan. This approach was selected because of benefits to all modes of travel and because it creates the urban form we envision for our neighborhoods and commercial districts. The alternative to a well-connected grid is to depend on a few large streets and intersections that are less safe for bicyclists and pedestrians, and make transit difficult to access. The current Comprehensive Plan discusses this policy in more detail (see Appendix 6A).
Transportation Mobility Strategy
The 2009 Olympia Transportation Mobility Strategy recommends increasing street and pathway connectivity in our network. Appendix H of the Mobility Strategy report is an analysis of street connectivity.
Status of Connectivity in Olympia
Olympia has not been able to achieve all street connections planned and documented in the Comprehensive Plan or required through code regulations.
When these connections are not made there is a cumulative impact on the transportation system. The existing street system gets more congested, there is more delay at intersections, streets need to be widened which is costly, and streets become less safe and unpleasant for walking and biking.
Contact Sophie Stimson at 360.753.8497 or firstname.lastname@example.org