Tag Archive: Seattle City Council

Don’t Delay Downtown & Connect Our Neighborhoods

May 12, 2016

Shirley & Tim struggle to bike with their families in Seattle

Shirley & Tim struggle to bike with their families in Seattle

Just looking to help make a difference? Jump right to the call to action!

In Part 1 of our story, we left Tim wondering how to commute by bike with his baby daughter and left Shirley stranded with her children trying to cross Seattle’s most dangerous street, Rainier Ave S. In Part 2, we’ll explain how to rescue them.

The city has a good plan.

Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan is a 20-year plan (2014-2034). The plan “Proposes a network of bicycle facilities throughout the city that provides a way for people of all ages and abilities to travel by bicycle within their neighborhoods, from one neighborhood to the next, and across the city.” The plan’s performance targets include quadrupling the ridership by 2030, getting to zero traffic fatalities by 2030, and having “100% of households in Seattle within 1⁄4 mile of an all ages and abilities bicycle facility by 2035.”

Unfortunately, when it has come to implementing the bike plan, the public feels the city is falling short. Much has been written about the implementation plan already (Stranger, Bike Blog, CHSBlog, etc), but to recap why people are disappointed:

  1. The bike implementation plan pretends downtown doesn’t exist. The city makes no commitments to connect our major job center and our densest neighborhoods.
  2. Less is being built after passing the Move Seattle Levy than was originally projected before the levy was passed. This may be due to simple over-promising, but now people like Shirley and Tim are understandably disappointed.
  3. It seems that the routes which have been selected to be developed first in neighborhoods are low hanging fruit rather than the routes people need most to be able to safely get around.

So what would a robust implementation of a bike network look like?

Our city is growing fast. Our urban villages, the places our city has designated to grow the fastest, desperately need better transportation connections. We must build a network of trails, protected bike lanes, and neighborhood greenways that link our fastest growing neighborhoods together. We must provide safe, time competitive, and comfortable routes that entice people of all ages and abilities to try biking for some of their daily transportation needs.

Here’s a concept of what a connected network would look like that links all of Seattle’s Urban Villages:
Urban Village Bike Map small

We can build this. This represents about 60 miles of high quality safe routes for biking – or about the same number of miles the Move Seattle Levy promises over the next five years.

We can’t wait any longer to build a network downtown. We can’t wait any longer to build the important routes that people like Shirley and Tim need most to get between neighborhoods. Join us and the Cascade Bicycle Club in calling on the city to improve the bicycle implementation plan!

You can make a difference!

Here’s how:

Take Your Bike to Lunch Day at City Hall

What: RSVP Bring your sack lunch & your bike to City Hall at 12 p.m. Let Seattle City Council know we can’t wait longer for safe connected streets. Help fill the main 5th Avenue entrance of City Hall with your bikes and write postcards to Seattle City Council telling your stories.  
When: Tuesday, May 17 at 12 p.m.
Where: Seattle City Hall main atrium [Get Directions]

Testify At Seattle City Council

What: RSVP to testify on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Seattle City Council Transportation Committee to let Council know we can’t wait for safe streets. Cascade will help you sign up to exercise your democratic rights to speak to our elected leaders.
When: Tuesday, May 17 at 2 p.m. Arrive at 1:45 p.m. to get on the speaking list, meeting begins at 2 p.m.
Where: Seattle City Hall – Council Chamber [Get Directions]

Really fired up? RSVP now!

City Hall

See you at City Hall!

SR-520 Design Resolution Improved!

Gordon Padelford
October 9, 2015

Designing better walking and biking connections as part of the SR-520 project is our 2015 District 3 priority.SR-520 desire lines

Exciting news! The new SR-520 interchanges will be easier to walk and bike across. 

In January of this year we sent a consensus letter detailing what needed to change with the SR-520 interchange design to make it safer to walk and bike across.

Then in September we issued a call to action to testify at a City Council hearing to improve a resolution on the proposed design. And you rose to the occasion! You packed the public hearing and we got the message across that we needed a stronger resolution to specifically address:

  1. Safer ways to walk across the Montalke Interchange
  2. Protected bike lanes on Montlake Blvd
  3. A neighborhood greenway on the Lake Washington Loop

O'Brien at City CouncilWith this momentum we worked with Councilmember Mike O’Brien to propose amendments to the the resolution addressing these concerns. Thanks to his leadership and support from other councilmembers amendments to address walking across the Montlake Interchange and biking on Montlake Blvd were approved unanimously! While an amendment to include a neighborhood greenway on the Lake Washington Loop was not put forward, it did raise the profile of project significantly and funds from the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund were allocated to help study the project.

These amendments helped strengthen an already excellent resolution, so now we can truly look forward to a project that reconnects instead of further dividing our neighborhoods.

Thank you to all to the many people made this victory possible!

Specifically we would like to thank Councilmembers Mike O’Brien, Tom Rasmussen, and Kshama Sawant; our local greenway organizers Mike Archambault, Lionel Job, Bob Edmiston, Jerry Fulks, Drew Dresman, Forrest Baum, Brie Gyncild, and Merlin Rainwater; our healthy transportation allies Brock Howell, Kelli Refer, Andrew Austin, Kristi Rennebohm Franz, and the Connect Seattle members who turned out at the hearing. We would also like to thank Andrew Glass-Hasting and Lyle Bicknell for their work making this project work for all people. Thank you.