Meeker Festival Street
The City is working to develop and implement a festival street, which would be located on E Meeker between Meridian and 3rd Street SE. This festival street would act as a flexible space that is pedestrian-oriented and would be temporarily closed for special events, and activities. It would also connect the downtown core to the Meeker Mansion.
The goals of this project are:
- Provide a flexible space for pedestrian-oriented events and activities in the right-of-way that can adapt to community needs.
- Replace aging public utilities and pavement infrastructure.
- Encourage redevelopment and investment in downtown.
- Strengthen the connection between the City’s downtown core and the Meeker Mansion.
The Meeker Festival Street was one of the recommendations that came out of the Meridian Streetscapes Project, which was completed in 2022. The City, in 2021, hired a consultant, MIG, to create a Plan for the downtown area that would identify new ways to enhance the character, aesthetic, and functionality of streets in Downtown Puyallup and along the Meridian corridor. At the end of this project, the City created a prioritized list of recommendations to help make strategic investments in downtown. There were ten projects recommended by this Scoping Report, of which the Meeker Festival Street was one of them. To learn more about the Meridian Streetscape Project, and its recommendations, please visit our website page here.
During the public outreach portion of the Meridian Streetscape Project, City staff asked the community and Council to rank the ten proposed projects based on preference. The Meeker Festival Street was, by far, the number one ranked project of the ten. Knowing that this project is a high priority for both the Council and the community, the City sent out an RFP in early 2023 for consultants who could help create a design concept. This concept would act as a blueprint for how the Festival Street could look and will help guide the final design. Over the course of 2023, staff will work with this consultant on drafting the concept and vetting it with the community and City Council. Once approved, staff will seek grants to fund the project and make the vision a reality.
May 2023 - Council approves a contract with MIG for the Meeker Festival Street project.
What is a Festival Street?
A festival street is a public street that is pedestrian-oriented, and designed to support temporary closures to vehicles where people can walk around freely and enjoy community events, shopping, food carts, and other attractions within the street. Typical features of this type of street are a curb-less design, additional lighting for evening usage, and additional seating opportunities. These streets are often temporarily closed to vehicles, making it a safe and walkable area for the public to enjoy. In Washington, Festival Streets are becoming a popular form of infrastructure for communities looking to invigorate their downtown areas. Cities such as Kirkland, Leavenworth, Bellingham, and Renton have implemented some form of Festival Street in their downtown areas.
Why is it going on E Meeker?
E Meeker, between Meridian and 3rd, was identified as the best location for a festival street for a few key reasons.
- That section of Meeker gets very little vehicle traffic.
- It acts as a gateway connecting Meeker Mansion and the downtown shopping core.
- The city’s investment in this area helps spur redevelopment and private investment in this section of downtown.
- It already acts as a location for public events, such as Meeker Days and car shows.
- Opportunity to upgrade aging infrastructure that is currently in place.
For these reasons, the project team has selected E Meeker to be the project location.
Why is the City doing this?
The Meeker Festival Street Project was identified during the Meridian Streetscapes planning process as a potential project recommendation. It was one of ten recommended projects in the final scoping report. In fact, when asking the community to rank each project, Meeker Festival Street was the top choice. City Council concurred with this result and directed staff to make it a priority project. This project also supports a number of goals in the Downtown Neighborhood Plan chapter of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, is consistent with the 1992 Downtown Design Charette which envisioned a “Meeker Street Promenade”.
Does that mean E Meeker will be closed to cars indefinitely?
Not necessarily. During this project, the project team will look at various options for the layout and usage, such as a partial closure or one-way usage, of E Meeker and see which option is the best fit for our community. Other communities have seen success from a hybrid option, which would be a closure during key events and open during non-event times.
How much will it cost to build the Festival Street?
The Meridian Streetscape Project final report identified an estimated project budget, including soft and hard costs of $5.8M-$6.7M in 2022 dollars and includes the costs for a new traffic signal at Meeker/3rd St SE to facilitate pedestrian connections between the festival street and the Meeker Mansion site. This is a planning level opinion of probable construction cost and will evolve with the design process. The design concept will help inform how much it will cost to construct. Once the design concept is finished, staff plan to research grant opportunities that could help fund the project. Please check back on this page for updates.
When is this going to happen?
The City issued an RFQ for a consultant in January 2023 and selected MIG to lead the project. Starting in the Spring, staff will work with MIG to begin work on the design concept. Staff hopes to finish the design concept by the end of 2023. The public will be able to participate in outreach opportunities at various points in the process throughout 2023. Please visit our Outreach section of this page for details.
Isn’t the City selling some property over that way?
We are! The Cornforth Campbell lot, which is located along E Meeker, is currently seeking a potential development partner through an RFP process who can reimagine that property. The goal of that project is to revitalize that area of downtown, build quality housing, and create synergy with the Meeker Festival Street. To learn more about that project, visit the project webpage here, or contact our Economic Development Manager, Meredith Neal at email@example.com.