Tag Archive for 'City Council'

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$2 mil for peds in mayor’s budget

PubliCola dives into the details of the mayor’s proposed $13 million Walk Bike Ride Plan. Of that, $5 million is expected in 2011 and pedestrian projects would get the largest piece at over $2 million.

Mayor McGinn’s office sent out this information about the budget:

What’s in the Walk Bike Ride package? More funding for:

Safe, Healthy Neighborhoods

  • More Neighborhood Street Fund projects that will improve neighborhoods. These projects have undergone an extensive ranking process involving district councils, neighborhood residents, and the Bridging the Gap Oversight Committee. These projects include:
    • Cedar Park: NE 12th St: new sidewalk between Sand Point and 35th Ave NE (2011)
    • Central District: E Union pedestrian and bike improvements between E Madison and 13th St (2011)
    • South Park: 8th Ave South: new sidewalk between S Director and S Concord Streets (2011)
    • Arbor Heights: 35th Ave SW sidewalk between SW 97th and 104th St (2012)
    • Crown Hill: 18th Ave NW sidewalks between NW 85th and NW 89th St (2012)
    • Pioneer Square: 3rd Ave S sidewalk repair between Prefontaine Pl S and S Washington St (2012)
  • Full funding for the Linden Ave North Complete Streets project.
  • Projects that speed up implementation of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans. This means more sidewalks, bike facilities, crossing improvements, stairways, pedestrian lighting, and other neighborhood improvements.
  • Getting started on the creation of a bikeshare program in Seattle.

A Dependable, Connected Transportation System

Frequent, Reliable Transit

Creating Great Places

We hope you can help us make Seattle a better place. Thank you.


How to support the mayor’s budget for pedestrian improvements

With the city trying to cut millions of dollars from its budget to close a $67 million gap, Mayor Mike McGinn’s proposal to add $13 million for walking, biking, and transit is sure to be contentious.

Great City believes it will require a strong show of support for the city council to approve these budget items.

We need to stand together and make sure the City Council keeps this funding in the budget. Only with your presence can we ensure that important mobility projects like sidewalks in South Park and Crown Hill, extending the Chief Sealth Trail, the completion of the Transit Master Plan, and even basic street maintenance receive the funding they deserve.

This is your opportunity to become a hero, a budget hearing hero. Starting this evening the City Council will listen to members of the public like you and make crucial decisions about the budget. This budget process is crucial for our campaign to fund pedestrian, bicycle and transit infrastructure, and we need supporters like you to turn out at each hearing. Are you ready to stand with Streets For All Seattle?

There are two remaining budget hearings – and if you RSVP online with Streets for All Seattle, they will provide you with a T-shirt to show your support.

  • Wednesday, October 13, The Brockey Center at South Seattle Community College, 6000 16th Avenue SW, 98106, 5 p.m. Sign-in, 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 26, Seattle City Hall, Council Chambers, 2nd floor, 600 Fourth Avenue, 98104, 5 p.m. Sign-in, 5:30 p.m.

If you can’t make it to the meetings, Great City mentions a couple other ways in which you can help:

Tell the City Council your story, and/or donate to Streets For All Seattle and help us have the resources necessary to make walking, bicycling and transit the easiest ways to get around Seattle.


City selects lead waterfront designer

In a project that will impact our city’s waterfront and the pedestrian experience for generations to come, the city has selected its lead waterfront designer. There is some good coverage of this announcement at Publicola and Seattle Transit Blog.

Public reaction to the selection seems to be somewhat mixed. It sounds like there will be limited private development allowed, if any. Councilmember Sally Bagshaw says “I’ve heard many people ask, ‘Are you going to allow giant condominiums and hotels along the waterfront?’ The answer is, no.” There is some concern that this lack of development may result in a linear park that isn’t well used.

This editorial praises the city’s selection.

Hopefully the the right choice was made and we will see a waterfront that serves as a good public space and pedestrian environment, with the right balance of public space and private development.


City budget hearings

As some of you may know, Seattle has a Pedestrian Master Plan to make Seattle the most walkable city in the country. However, this plan won’t accomplish much until it is funded by the city. Conveniently, the Seattle City Council is currently considering its budget priorities for next year and the Pedestrian Master Plan might be something worth reminding them of.

Here are a couple things you can do, if you’re so inclined:

  1. Send an email to the City CouncilStreets for All Seattle has a form and a template to make it easier to share your thoughts with the City Council.
  2. Attend a public budget hearing – Scheduled for the evenings of Sept 29, Oct 13, and Oct 26, attend and encourage the council to fund the Pedestrian Master Plan.

Putting peds on Pike/Pine

A couple months ago Sally Clark brought up the idea of closing Pike and Pine streets to vehicle traffic in the evenings to make for a more exciting and pedestrian-oriented nightlife environment.

There’s been some discussion of this at Capitol Hill Seattle. Sounds good for nightlife, possibly not so good for residents who live nearby, and maybe good for pedestrians, or maybe not.

Dan Bertolet says that removing cars from Pike St isn’t worth it:

One of the likely targets is Pike Street between Broadway and 12th, but the thing is that strip works just fine with cars in it. The striped crosswalks are fairly well respected by drivers. Because there is so much activity around the street, car speeds tend to be relatively slow. Cars and pedestrians and bikes all coexist to create a healthy urban street energy.

If the cars were removed, however, the space would be much too big, and all that energy would lose its punch because it would become too unfocused and diffuse. Pike is a wide street—about 80 feet from building face to building face—and that’s a formidable swath of empty pavement (check out the photo at the top).

I’m not sure if this idea will go anywhere, or if it should. The sidewalks are a little narrow along Pike, so having a whole street to walk in seems like it would be nice. And there’s not really a need to keep the road open for vehicular flow. There are some logistical issues that would need to be figured out, such as paying for additional clean-up. It does seem like it would be good for pedestrians, though, even if it’s not the most ideal pedestrian mall. The comments to the linked articles above have some more thoughts – most of them seem to be in opposition to this idea.


Triangle Walk and Talk

In case you missed the Walk and Talk with Councilmember Rasmussen on Tuesday, there’s a write-up on Seattle Transit Blog:

Last night Feet First (great pedestrian advocacy group) hosted their second Walk & Talk tour guided by Tom Rasmussen. The tour started in the Triangle of West Seattle (bounded by 35th, Alaska, and Fauntleroy) and headed east stopping at destinations along the way, ending at a casual reception.

The first stop was the YMCA followed by the new “Link” development. The Triangle is an interesting area. Up until just a year or two ago the whole area consisted mostly of light manufacturing and auto dealership, a large number of which are out of business now. The area is prime for redevelopment, due to its location and underlying zoning. As a casual observer of developments in this area over the last few years it’s interesting how omnipresent the themes of transition and parking are.

There are also some more details over at STB about the implementation of RapidRide bus service.


Walk & Talk tonight

Just a reminder, despite the wet weather, Feet First is hosting a Walk & Talk in West Seattle with City Council Member Rasmussen at 6 pm tonight. Click here for event details.


Walk & Talk with Councilmember Rasmussen

Feet First, the Seattle walkability advocacy organization, is hosting a walk and talk with City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen in West Seattle.

Take a short walk (1.5miles) and learn how walking and transit are becoming a key part of supporting health, economy, and vivrancy of this area. Thie ‘Triangle’ is in the heart of the West Seattle peninsula and soon will be home to West Seattle’s first Bus Rapid Ride network.

Find out how the City of Seattle is creating a more pedestrian friendly future, which retains locally-owned small businesses. Senior Planner, Susan McLain from the Department of Planning and Development will be on hand to answer your questions.

Enjoy meeting and chatting with new people and also browsing small local businesses along California Ave SW! The Walk & Talk will end with an evening deck reception overlooking the Puget Sound at a local sustainable urban farm in West Seattle.

The event is on Tuesday, August 31, at 6 pm and there is a cost of $15 for non-members ($10 for members).

You can RSVP via the facebook invitation.


Report on Seattle graffiti

It seems like graffiti is everywhere in the city, especially in urban areas. We’re all impacted by it financially because $2 million of our tax dollars are used to remove it. However, as we observe our surroundings on our walks, us pedestrians probably see more graffiti than most people.

The city auditor’s office recently did a study on graffiti and came back with some interesting statistics, including that public property is tagged more often than private. Also, sticker graffiti is more common than spray paint graffiti.

39% of survey respondents said graffiti was not a problem, while about the same percentage said it was a medium to very big problem.

The study also includes a few recommendations. Visit the Seattle Crime blog for more details.


Opposition to Nickerson “road diet”

UPDATE: Orphan Road has word of a Google Group set up in support of the “road diet”

The mayor’s proposal to put Nickerson St on a road diet is facing some opposition

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s “road diet” for West Nickerson Street is drawing opposition from Councilman Tom Rasmussen, who says the project should probably be delayed until 2016 — when other corridors including two-way Mercer Street and the Alaskan Way Tunnel are completed, and their traffic detours let up.

Rasmussen wants to scrutinize the plan June 8 in the council’s transportation committee, which he chairs.

In a typical “road diet,” a four-lane arterial is restriped so there are two traffic lanes and a center left-turn lane — and often bike lanes, plus some raised medians to help pedestrians. There have been 24 such lane reductions in the city since 1972.

The mayor, a longtime environmental activist, announced the Nickerson road diet May 11, as part of a re-emphasis on walking, biking and transit projects. One goal is for lower car speeds to improve pedestrian safety; the street passes through Seattle Pacific University.

Several local streets including Stone Way and Fauntleroy Way SW have recently been put on road diets with success in reducing accidents and improving the environment for bicyclists and pedestrians.