Tag Archive: bike

Mayor’s 5-year Bike Plan Slashes Promises — Act Now

Have you seen the draft 2019-2024 Bicycle Implementation Plan? The document proposed by Mayor Durkan lays out which projects will be built through the end of the Move Seattle Levy. While the plan includes some important projects, it drastically slashes the connected network that was promised to voters. In short, the next five years will not bring us considerably closer to connecting every neighborhood to each other with comfortable and convenient bike routes.

We need your help to tell SDOT and Seattle city leadership that this plan isn’t good enough. Send a comment to SDOT and Seattle city leadership here.

Act Now! button

How we got here

First, it is important to place this implementation plan in a wider context. It comes on the heels of the “Move Seattle Reset” — a hard look at the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT)’s ability to deliver projects given current funding levels. This reset pares down expectations from what was promised to voters to what can actually be delivered given current funding levels. But the implementation plan takes this trajectory too far and is downright pessimistic about funding assumptions.

For example, it predicts that after 2021 our city will never win another grant to complete what we promised voters. It’s also important to put this in the wider context: our society has plenty of existing funding to build out a safe bike network that connects every neighborhood, but politicians decide to spend it on projects like the $3,374,000,000 Highway-99 tunnel.

We could also stop the bad habit of making the bike budget pick up the tab for completely rebuilding streets and stretch our Bike Master Plan dollars further. Or we could aggressively pursue progressive funding options locally, regionally, and at the state level. Or some combination of all these strategies. Instead, what we are getting is extreme fiscal austerity at the expense of our city’s vision for a healthy, safe, affordable, equitable, and sustainable future. We can and must demand better from our leaders.

A joyful crowd of people in rain ponchos ride on a protected bike lane.

Important Inclusions

Zooming in on the specific projects listed in this Bicycle Implementation Plan, there are laudable inclusions and glaring omissions.

The plan includes much-needed safe places to bike on Eastlake Ave E, Green Lake Way, Delridge Way SW, E Marginal Way, the Georgetown to South Park Trail, Pike/Pine (and other parts of the Basic Bike Network), SW Avalon Way, and the Burke Gilman Trail Missing Link. The mayor deserves credit for including these critical projects in her plan and we hope she will work to swiftly build them before the end of her term.

Official sign reading "Bike Lane Ends". Someone has added googly eyes and a frowning face.

Three Glaring Omissions

1) A convenient, safe connection for SE Seattle. The most glaring omission is the lack of a single comfortable and convenient north-south route for Southeast Seattle. The viable options are, in order of preference, Rainier Ave S, Martin Luther King Jr Way S, and/or Beacon Ave S. A route down the spine of Beacon Hill may be the easiest option to implement. Building a continuous route from Yesler Terrace to South Beacon Hill on 12th, 15th, and Beacon Ave would connect SE Seattle communities to each other and economic opportunities like never before.

 

2) Safe Routes to SODO Jobs. The second biggest missing piece is a route that serves the thousands of blue collar jobs in SODO. The SODO Trail should be extended all the way to Georgetown or a viable alternative should be found that provides a connection to all the jobs along the way to protect the workers like Celso Diaz, who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver  in 2017 while he was cycling home from work. On the other side of the Duwamish River, closing the Duwamish Trail gap would connect workers to jobs and fulfill a desire of the Duwamish Tribe to better connect their longhouse to the rest of Seattle.

 

3) Safe Routes to Transit. The third area that needs improvement is access to high capacity transit. Biking can be a great way to get around for many of our daily necessities since 51% of our trips are to destinations less than five miles away. For the other 49% of our daily needs, transit is a great option — if people can get to it. We need to build projects that will help people access transit hubs:

  • A protected bike lane from Mt Baker to the I-90 Trail on MLK, connecting people in the Rainier Valley directly to the East Link Light Rail station at Judkins Park, and people in the Central District to the Mount Baker Station.
  • A route paralleling California Ave SW, connecting people in the Admiral neighborhood of West Seattle to the C Line stations in the Alaska Junction neighborhood and to the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project (a project which is well overdue).
  • Improved bike routes to Northgate light rail station (opening 2021) and the N 130th Station (potentially opening 2024) to provide better access, especially for north Bitter Lake and Little Brook — the two most racially diverse neighborhoods in North Seattle.  

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways staff bike on a Pike St protected bike lane.

What You Can Do

These routes are a start to building a bike network that connects every neighborhood. We encourage everyone to continue pushing our elected leaders until every Seattleite has the opportunity to bike for their daily needs. And we invite you to join us in speaking up for the additional projects above at one of the upcoming public engagement meetings:

 

SHOW UP IN PERSON: SDOT Café-style Conversations

6:00 pm Doors open / 6:15 pm Short presentation / 6:30 pm Conversations

 

COMMENT ONLINE: Can’t make it in person? Send a comment to SDOT and Seattle City leadership using this form.

 

Here’s a cheat sheet for in-person and online comments:

  • A convenient, safe connection for SE Seattle. The viable options are, in order of preference, Rainier Ave S, Martin Luther King Jr Way S, and/or Beacon Ave S. A spine along Beacon Hill connecting from Yesler to Way to Kenyon St on 12th Ave S, 15th Ave S, and Beacon Ave S may be the most viable option.
  • Safe Routes to SODO Jobs. Connect the SODO Trail to Georgetown and jobs along the way, and close the Duwamish Trail gap to connect to the Duwamish Longhouse.
  • Safe Routes to Transit. For Sound Transit stations opening in 2021 and 2024, this plan will make or break their accessibility and usability. Connect the Little Brook and north Bitter Lake neighborhoods to the new light rail stations, Admiral to the C-Line via 42nd Ave SW & Fauntleroy, and the Central District to the Mount Baker station via MLK.

 

Thank you for all that you do!

Be well,

Clara

 

claraClara Cantor

she/her/hers
(206) 681-5526
Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Would You Walk or Bike to the New Seattle Center Arena?

We need YOU to speak up for walking and biking at the Special City Council Meeting for Civic Arenas at Seattle City Hall this Friday, September 14, at 9:30 am.
The City Council will vote on ordinances relating to the redevelopment of the Seattle Center Arena (formerly known as Key Arena) this Friday, September 14, at 9:30 am. Public comment will be at the beginning of the meeting.
Show Up and Ask the City to:
  1. Complete the Basic Bike Network by requiring OakView Group (OVG) to fund a small square of safe bike connections immediately surrounding Seattle Center and the new Arena: on Roy St, 5th Ave, and Broad St in addition to the already-planned 1st Ave N / Queen Anne Ave Couplet. This will provide safe, connected routes for people on bikes from SLU and points north, not just from downtown.
  2. Extend pedestrian routes off of Seattle Center Campus to the East (to SLU), South (to Downtown), and West (to the waterfront).
  3. Put a hold on implementing adaptive signal technology until it can measure and mitigate pedestrian delay.

We will be there with signs to share. RSVP to Clara@Seattlegreenways.org or by replying to this email.

A group of people smiling and waving signs in support of the Safe Streets and the Basic Bike Network
The expansion of the Seattle Center Arena (formerly Key Arena) is slated to begin construction this October. The Arena developer has a responsibility to the City to ensure that event attendees have viable, comfortable, and efficient transportation options, and to incentivise their use. But the current plans map out a future for Uptown clogged by cars.

The current plans include a goal to have a whopping 55% of opening day arena event attendees arrive by private vehicle, with only 1% of event attendees arriving by bike and 10% by walking. We need City Council to require this big development to aim for more efficient transportation.

NHL Seattle found that 40% of expected attendees live within 4 miles of the arena. That’s 5,000 more people per event that could be choosing to walk or bike to the Arena if it were a comfortable, intuitive experience. Additionally, no matter how people start their journey to the arena, every event attendee will be a pedestrian for some part of their trip – walking to transit hubs or parking garages.

People walking on a city street.

Developer investments in walking and biking infrastructure will improve the transportation experience for those arriving via any mode, minimize the negative impacts on the neighborhood, increase interactions between event attendees and local businesses, and will have the largest positive impact for the dollars spent.

The Oakview Group (OVG), the Arena developers, have been asked to fund many positive improvements, including:

  • Protected bike lanes (PBLs) and bus-only lanes on 1st Ave N and Queen Anne Ave, directly in front of the arena. Additionally, some pedestrian improvements to Seattle Center Campus and streets immediately adjacent.

  • Centralized locations for a small amount of personal bike parking, to stage and park bikeshare bikes, and bike facilities for employees.

  • Designated drop off zone for TNCs, creating predictability and reducing conflicts and safety issues between TNCs and people walking and biking (negotiations still underway).

However, this mitigation represents the bare minimum, and City Council should push OVG to be more aggressive in their modeshare goals and to fund the transportation mitigation that will enable success in reaching them.

Map of the Basic Bike Network

We Need YOU to Show Up and Ask the City to:

  1. Complete the Basic Bike Network (above) by requiring OVG to fund a small square of remaining connections immediately surrounding Seattle Center and the new Arena: on Roy St (1st Ave N to 5th Ave), 5th Ave (Roy St to Broad St), and Broad St (2nd Ave to 5th Ave) in addition to the already-planned 1st Ave N / Queen Anne Ave Couplet. This will provide safe, connected routes for people on bikes from SLU and points north, not just from downtown.
  2. Extend pedestrian routes off of Seattle Center Campus to the East (to SLU via Thomas St Greenway), South (to Downtown via 4th Ave), and West (to the waterfront and the Elliot Bay Trail via the John Coney overpass). This includes wayfinding, lighting, ADA compliant curb ramps, and sidewalk repair.
  3. Put a hold on implementing adaptive signal technology until SDOT commits to measuring and valuing delay for people walking (as they do currently for people driving), and the technology advances to a point where it is able to measure and minimize that delay.Friday, September 14, at 9:30 am.

We’ll see you there!

 

A headshot of Clara Cantor

Clara Cantor

Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
Website – Twitter – Facebook

#BasicBikeNetwork FINAL VOTE July 30!

Thanks to continued community support of the Basic Bike Network, we are on the final steps of a major win: the full Seattle City Council will vote on July 30 whether to construct three critical bicycling connections by the end of 2019!

Show up on Monday, July 30, 2:00 pm, at Seattle City Hall to stand with the group and demonstrate the need for the #BasicBikeNetwork.

RSVP and learn more.

Can’t make it? Send an email voicing your support.

A woman and her two children sit in the City Council chambers smiling and holding handmade signs in support of safe streets.
What’s the Basic Bike Network? It’s a vision for a connected network of safe streets to bike on–not just disconnected pieces here and there.
But the basic bike network has been delayed year after year, including a disappointing delay announced this March. We raised our voices, rallied in front of City Hall, and even took to the streets for Seattle’s first people-protected bike lane to make our message clear: We can’t wait any longer to make our city safer and more accessible.

And we are starting to be heard. You may have seen our message that, thanks to your advocacy, the city committed to protected bike lanes on the Pike/Pine Corridor without further delays. And last week, in front of an impassioned crowd of community members advocating for safe streets, this legislation passed unanimously out of the City Council’s Transportation and Sustainability Committee. Help us keep the momentum going.
If this legislation passes, you and your loved ones will have safe, protected routes to bike into and through downtown Seattle from the north, south, and east (2nd Ave to Westlake, Dearborn, and Broadway) by the end of next year. Let’s make this happen.
A comparison between current, unsafe conditions at the intersection of Pine and Boren and a happy image of a protected bike lane filled with happy bikers on a rainy day.
When: Monday, July 30, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Where: Seattle City Hall, in the Council Chambers (2nd floor).
How: By standing with us and holding signs of support (we will have some available) during the public comment period of the meeting. It is likely to be a crowded meeting, so we will stand up to speak as a group. If you’re interested in speaking please contact clara@seattlegreenways.org. Kids and families very welcome!
Thank you and we’ll see you on July 30!

A headshot of Clara CantorClara Cantor

Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
WebsiteTwitterFacebook

P.S. Thank you for your continued advocacy – you are making a difference!

Turning a Safety Corridor Into a Street for People #Fix65th

Council member Rob Johnson at 2016 #Fix65th rally

Councilmember Rob Johnson speaks to 2016 #Fix65th Vision Zero Rally participants

In 2016, following a cluster of tragic fatalities and serious injuries on NE 65th St of people walking and biking, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways brought together a coalition to make safety improvements.

NE Seattle Greenways held a community rally and safety walk with District 4 Councilmember Rob Johnson. Hundreds of people signed our petition, and powerful local neighborhood groups (Roosevelt Neighborhood Association & Ravenna-Bryant Community Association) joined up to make safety on NE 65th one of their priorities as well.

Our #Fix65th coalition and Councilmember Johnson’s support were just what was needed to make #fix65th a priority for Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), and late in 2016 the City funded and began to plan for a safer, more functional street.

Making NE 65th a great street for people who walk, bike, take the bus, shop, go to school, and live is even more critical now than ever with the Roosevelt Light Rail Station due to open in 2021.

photo: Dongho Chang, Seattle City Chief Traffic Engineer

We’re super excited to report, based on our coalition’s recommendations, that SDOT has already changed speed signs to 25 MPH (they were 30 MPH), and improved existing traffic signals.

Much more is planned!

Make sure to attend the next SDOT #Fix65th Open House on May 18 to see what else is in the works for 2017. If you can’t attend the May 18 meeting, SDOT has an on-line survey up in May to record your ideas as well.

 

SDOT Open House to #Fix65th

  • When: Thursday May 18, 2017 from 6 to 8 PM
  • Where: Roosevelt High School, 1410 NE 66th St
  • Who: Everyone who lives, works, plays, or travels along NE 65th St.
  • What: Review concept plans for 2017 safety and see what’s already been improved
  • Why: Because we all need safe, healthy streets!

More information: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/NE65VisionZero.htm and https://fix65th.wordpress.com

 

World Day of Remembrance 2016 at 20th NE and NE 65th

World Day of Remembrance 2016 at 20th NE and NE 65th

 

Care about Madison Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)?

image004August 5, 2016

Here’s what to look for when you provide comments at the final Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Open House on Tuesday August 9 (or on-line before August 16).

Madison BRT is intended as a Complete Street. Complete Streets provide fair access to the street for all people, whatever their transit mode. That is one reason the City is poised to apply for grant funding to invest upwards of $120 Million along this 2.4-mile corridor. Another reason the Madison BRT project is at the top of stack for funding and redevelopment is that thousands of new places for people to work and live along the Madison corridor are under construction or in permitting now.

When you are evaluating the Madison BRT plans, ask first if people of all ages and all abilities will easily be able to cross the street, walk or bike to transit, and enjoy the experience of walking, shopping, and socializing along East Madison Street. Madison is filled with young people starting families, retirees, people using major hospitals, amid a wealth of residential and commercial property.

Several street safety advocacy groups, including local groups along the corridor – Central Seattle Greenways, Madison Park Greenways, and the transportation leaders of First Hill Improvement Association – have been closely following the Madison BRT project for several years. They shared their top five concerns about the current Madison BRT proposal.

Five ideas to consider when commenting on the Madison BRT project:

  1. Crossing the street is a necessary part of taking the bus. People walking and biking need to be able to cross Madison directly and safely. The 30% designs for 24th Ave & Madison, 12th & Union & Madison don’t resolve the difficult street crossing challenges, in fact current designs may make crossing more dangerous. At center-island stations, crosswalks need to be positioned at the desire lines for people exiting the bus.

  2. Plan for people who bike. Design and fund access for people who want to bike in the Madison corridor. Community groups worked closely with the City for several years to identify the optimal “parallel” bicycle infrastructure that was intended to be funded as part of the project: this includes protected bike lanes on Union from 12th to 27th and greenways on 27th, 24th, Thomas, Denny, and University. Creating safe and convenient bikeways to help people access residences and businesses on Madison isn’t just a nice idea, it’s necessary and promised Complete Streets mitigation given that SDOT is removing access to a street people depend on now.

  3. Work hard to keep the trees! Removing 23 trees on Madison between Broadway & 12th may ease the congestion on the sidewalk a little bit, but will make the pedestrian experience even bleaker.

  4. Plan for growth. The City needs to plan for long term sidewalk improvements as part of this project. This dense neighborhood will need wide, well-maintained sidewalks with excellent street furnishings. Make sure that intent is communicated in design plans written by the City for developers as they build along the Madison Corridor.

  5. Study traffic along the Madison Corridor including left turn elimination, commercial loading, parking, peak I-5 access, and in particular ambulance & emergency vehicle access.

 

SDOT Public Open House  Tuesday August 9   5 – 7 PM Meredith Mathews East Madison YMCA   1700 23rd Ave

Give feedback online before August 16: MadisonBRT.participate.online

 

Brie Gyncild and Merlin Rainwater, Central Seattle Greenways Co-chairs

Bob Edmiston, Madison Park Greenways Chair

Cathy Tuttle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Director

Gordon Werner, First Hill Improvement Association Transportation Chair

SR-520 Resolution Needs to be Better

Gordon Padelford
September 10, 2015

montlake blvd interchange

The 520 Montlake Interchange will be a formidable obstacle

The SR-520 and the Montlake Bridge area is one of Seattle’s key geographic chokepoints for walking and biking.

The $1.64 billion SR-520 highway project will be set in concrete for the next eighty years. It must work.

The Seattle City Council has released a draft resolution outlining the City’s official position on how to improve the design.

While there is a lot to like in the draft resolution, unfortunately the current SR520 Draft Resolution does not include the top three needed fixes outlined in a letter sent to the city seven months ago by a coalition of community and healthy transportation groups:

1. Single lane on-ramps and raised crosswalks at the Montlake interchange so that people can safely walk across.
2. Protected bike lanes on Montlake Blvd to allow people to safely bike through the interchange.
3. A neighborhood greenway along the Lake Washington Loop paid for by WSDOT, to provide a key link in the non-motorized system, and protect the neighborhood’s quality of life by mitigating cut-through traffic.

Here’s how you can make an impact

Show up and tell the Seattle City Council we need to get this right at a public hearing at the University Christian Church at 4731 15th Ave. NE, on Wednesday Sept. 16 at 5:30 p.m.

While in person testimony is an order of magnitude more impactful, if you can’t make the meeting, you can email, or better yet call, the City Council Transportation Committee Chair Tom Rasmussen directly at 206-684-8808 or tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov.

For questions or how to get more involved contact gordon <at> seattlegreenways.org
Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 4.53.56 PM
Thank you!

Small Fixes, Big Wins In Ballard

Cathy Tuttle
April 23, 2015

Newly installed Leary & NW 43rd Bike Signal

Newly installed Leary & NW 43rd Bike Signal

Small fixes can mean big wins!

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) just added a new, safer connection across Leary Way near the 6th Ave NW corridor.

Connecting 6th Ave NW to the Burke Gilman Trail and to the existing Ballard Greenway is the top priority for Greenways groups in City Council District 6 that covers Fremont and Ballard.

The push-button signal for people on bikes is placed near popular destinations including Hale’s Ales Brewery, Fred Meyer, and the Burke Gilman Trail.

The new push button will help families going to the proposed 6th Ave NW Safe Route to Schools corridor connecting Pacific Crest Elementary, West Woodland Elementary, and Greenwood Elementary Schools, say Ballard Greenways advocates.

The project for signs and signal changes was funded by a Neighborhood Park and Street Fund application submitted in 2014 by Fremont Greenways. Thank you!