Tag Archive: transportation

Hear from Seattle City Council Candidates on Transportation, Housing, and Sustainability

A row of people on bicycles in a protected lane share the street with a King County Metrobus.There are currently 58 candidates for Seattle City Council.

Are you overwhelmed, and looking for a candidate in your district that aligns with your values? Look no further!

 

SNG, the MASS Coalition, and allies are hosting candidate forums in five of the seven Seattle City Council districts this month. We’ll hear from candidates as they answer questions about the biggest issues facing our city: transportation, housing, reducing carbon emissions, and equity. All forums are wheelchair-accessible and CART services will be provided:

  • District 6 Candidate Forum moderated by Heidi Groover
    Tuesday, May 21, 5:30-7:30pm
    Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave N
    (District 6 includes Crown Hill, Greenwood, Ballard, Phinney Ridge, Greenlake, Tangletown, and parts of Fremont)
  • District 3 Candidate Forum moderated by Heidi Groover and Dr. Larry Hubbell
    Thursday, May 23, 6:00-7:30pm
    Washington State Labor Council, 321 16th Ave S
    (District 3 includes Capitol Hill, Central Area, First Hill, Little Saigon, and parts of South Lake Union, Mount Baker, Montlake and Yesler Terrace)
  • District 2 Candidate Forum moderated by Erica Barnett
    Tuesday, May 28, 7:00-8:30pm
    New Holly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Ave S
    (District 2 includes Chinatown/International District, Little Saigon, SoDo, Beacon Hill, Georgetown, Mount Baker, Columbia City, New Holly, Othello, Seward Park, and Rainier Beach)
  • District 7 Candidate Forum moderated by Erica Barnett
    Wednesday, May 29, 6:00-8:00pm
    SEIU 775 Auditorium, 215 Columbia St.
    (District 7 includes Pioneer Square, Downtown, Belltown, Denny Triangle, Uptown/Lower Queen Anne, Queen Anne, Interbay, Magnolia, and parts of First Hill and South Lake Union)
  • District 4 Candidate Forum moderated by Erica Barnett
    Thursday, May 30, 5:30-7:30pm
    Cascade Bicycle Club, 7787 62nd Ave NE
    (District 4 encompasses Eastlake, University District, Wallingford, Ravenna Bryant, Roosevelt, and parts of Fremont, Maple Leaf, and Wedgwood)

If you miss the forum or if you live in District 1 (West Seattle and South Park) or District 5 (North Seattle), keep a lookout for candidate questionnaires! You’ll be able to read what candidates in your district have to say about these important issues.

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

Speak up for Walking and Biking in Seattle’s 2018 City Budget!

We care about making every neighborhood in Seattle a great place to walk, bike, and live, but too many important projects are being delayed or watered down.

That’s why Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is leading the charge as part of a new transportation alliance Move All Seattle Sustainably (MASS)We’re calling on the Mayor and City Council to go beyond general statements of support for transportation and environmental issues, and act now to align our city budget with Seattle’s values.

Walking

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, backed by the MASS alliance, has four main city budget priorities this year:

  1. Safer Intersections. Halt spending on adaptive signals, which prioritize cars over everyone else, until the technology can prioritize people walking and biking.
  2. Traffic Calming. Fund a Home Zone pilot project, using diverters and traffic calming to limit and slow traffic on residential streets, particularly in areas with no sidewalks.
  3. Basic Bike Network. Add additional funding to get people to and from the new Arena and into and through Uptown and South Lake Union.
  4. Equitable Street Parks. Restore funding to successful Pavement to Parks projects with an equity focus.

Act Now! button

Act now to ask City Council to support these priorities, and join us on Wednesday, October 24 at 2:00 pm at the Transportation Committee Budget Hearing. Public comment is at the end of the meeting, likely around 4:00 pm.

Get involved in Seattle Neighborhood Greenways by volunteering with us or donating to support our work.
ApuAdvocacyCropped

Thank you for your continued advocacy!

 clara

Clara Cantor

(206) 681-5526
Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Website – Twitter – Facebook

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

What Did Your Council Candidate Say About Safe Streets?

by Cathy Tuttle, July 16, 2015

I got my ballot in the mail today!

If you live in Seattle and are registered to vote, you will get to choose two at-large City Council candidates, and one Council candidate who represents your District.  For the past year, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has been organizing its advocacy priorities, local groups and volunteers by District as well. We believe District elections will significantly change the face of Seattle projects and policies.

This is a run-off primary election, with ballots due August 4. The top two vote-getters in each position will advance to the November elections when we will choose our nine City Council members. Most of the Districts and at-large positions have many candidates running (there are over 40 people running for nine seats).

I admire every person who has chosen to run for City Council. Every one has made a sacrifice of their time, their money, and their energy to put forward their ideas about how to make Seattle a better and more livable city.

Local Greenways group leaders came up with just two questions that we asked of all 40+ candidates. You can see candidates’ complete responses at the bottom of this post, on this Google spreadsheet, or this Excel pdf.

Here are the two questions each candidate answered:

  • Question 1: What street or transportation projects proposed for your District get you excited? What projects will you push for, and what might you oppose?
  • Question 2: Envision a major street running through a business district in your neighborhood. Now that you’re a City Councilmember, you hear from residents and business owners who are concerned that an SDOT project to increase safety for people walking, biking, driving, and taking transit on this street may impact some on-street parking and slow down traffic by an estimated thirty seconds per mile. You also hear from parents, seniors, and people who live and work in the area that they really want their street to be safer.

How, if at all, would you engage SDOT and the people who live and work in your neighborhood and mediate conflicting project outcomes? This project will impact traffic in the following ways:

(1) remove some on-street parking for better visibility for people walking

(2) narrow some vehicle lanes to encourage drivers to keep to a maximum 25 mph speed;

(3) re-time traffic signals to give slower elders and children more time to safely cross the street;

(4) dedicate some current vehicle traffic lanes to buses and people on bikes so that they can move more quickly and safely

The illustration below is a word cloud of all candidate answers.

Council Candidate Word Cloud in worditout.com

Council Candidate Word Cloud in worditout.com

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Seattle Comprehensive Plan 2035

Cathy Tuttle June 24, 2015
(published originally in The Urbanist on 6/17/15)

Northwest Seattle Mode split expectations Seattle 2035.

Northwest Seattle Mode Split Expectations Seattle 2035

A week ago I sat down after work in a Pioneer Square pub with five young men to discuss the Transportation Element and Transportation Appendix of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Seattle 2035, Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan for growth over the next 20 years. Read the rest of this entry »

Congratulations Children’s Hospital on New Bicycle Service Center!

Childrens Hospital Service Center OpeningMarch 21, 2015

Seattle Children Hospital celebrates the grand opening of its new Staff Bicycle Service Center. This onsite full-service bike shop will offer staff convenient access to free tune-ups and safety checks, discounts on bicycle commuting gear, and free classes and demos.

The service center is just the newest part of a larger Children’s strategy to reduce barriers to bike commuting. Children’s was instrumental in getting the 39th Ave NE Greenway built and has exceptional support for biking. For example, staff have free use of a bicycle when they pledge to bike to work at least two times per week year-round.

The service center is part of a broader strategy to reduce barriers to bike commuting, thereby increasing the number of Children’s staff biking to work and decreasing the number of staff driving alone to work. This larger goal is a key element of Children’s 2010 Major Institution Master Plan and is intimately tied to the expansion of Children’s clinical space. Increasing clinical space is of critical importance to Children’s ability to be able to provide care to every child in the region who needs us. In order to expand its clinical space, Children’s made a commitment to the City of Seattle to mitigate traffic congestion associated with the expansion of the hospital.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wendy, the Willing But Wary Cyclist

Read more about Wendy, the Willing But Wary Cyclist by clicking on the image below.
Wendy, Willing But Wary