The Department of Enterprise Services is responsible for issuing permits for displays on the state Capitol Campus in Olympia, including banners hung from the pedestrian bridge over Capitol Way South, located just south of 14th Ave. S.E. The department is considering updates to its current display policy that might include potential restrictions on content for banners hung from the walking bridge, a familiar Olympia landmark.
Enterprise Services periodically reviews its policies as a best practice. In an average year, the agency issues about 120 permits to individuals and organizations to hang banners from the bridge. Earlier this year, the department reviewed its bridge banner program – first put in place in the 1990s – due to concerns regarding the safety and management of the banners.
As a result, the department changed its policy in October so that only the department can hang bridge banners. This change ensures all banners are properly installed and don't cause a safety hazard to passing motorists and pedestrians. The review also prompted other concerns related to banner content and questions about clear and consistent evaluation criteria. Read the Frequently Asked Questions.
As a result of the review, Enterprise Services put a 180-day moratorium in place on Oct. 21, 2016, on considering new bridge banner permit applications. The agency put the moratorium in place to:
During the moratorium, DES will be evaluating several different banner policy options including:
During the moratorium, Enterprise Services is seeking to make an informed solution that balances public safety and appropriate community use of the Capitol Campus, and we want to hear from the community.
To share information and hear public feedback on potential banner content options, Enterprise Services is conducting an evening open public house on Thursday, January 5.
Bridge Banner Policy Open House
Public Open House – Thursday, January 5, 2017
When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: 1500 Jefferson Building, first floor presentation room, 1500 Jefferson St. S.E., Olympia
Computer stations, index cards and flip charts will be set up at the open house for people who want to submit feedback that evening.
Enterprise Services is seeking feedback through March 1, 2017 via this electronic feedback form.
The department will also accept written feedback through March 1, 2017, which will be posted on the department's website. Please send your written feedback to:
Visitor Services Manager
Washington Department of Enterprise Services
PO Box 41034
Olympia, WA 98504-1034