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1

Public demand side - is building support for an issue a truly new idea I must say. Perhaps the issue is that there really isn't the support for the 5 blocks on Stone. Josh, do you have any polling on the general issue of bike lanes on arterials? Mike is saying he is in the business of building support which would be there if he had succeeded. BTW he seems like a great guy with the best of intensions.

"I believe itís ultimately public demand that pushes issues. Politicians in Seattle always tell me they will only go as far as the public will let them go. Well, Iím in the public demand side to demonstrate that the public is ready to make the changes we need to make.Ē

Posted by whatever | August 6, 2007 1:30 PM
2

@1,

There were 400 people at a bike rally to save the bike lane last week.

Whatever whatever.

Posted by Josh Feit | August 6, 2007 1:39 PM
3

Isn't Mike busy fighting the looming disaster that is RTID? How much do you expect out of one guy? Until November, the priority has to be this 50-year decision.

Posted by Jimmy | August 6, 2007 1:39 PM
4

Give him a break. This is Seattle. Therefore, he needs some time to form a committee.

Posted by Gitai | August 6, 2007 1:42 PM
5

@2

Let's see; as a citywide issue 400 bike riders divided by 536,439 = .07% who give shit about the bike lane.

According to you, McGinn is out to reclaim the "neighborhood movement." How many of the 400 bike riders were from Fremont? Maybe the neighborhood demand for the bike lane is low.

Posted by elrider | August 6, 2007 2:07 PM
6

Josh's approach to neighborhood activists reminds me of that of most City Councilmembers' - when you support what they want to do (or when they're running for re-election), activists are the voice of the people. When you don't support their proposals (which occurs more often than not, surprise surprise) - you're marginalized as a few cranky NIMBY types.

The bike lobby is well-organized, to be sure, but that doesn't mean they represent the neighborhood in question (though I would guess that Fremont has higher bicycle utilization than most neighborhoods, which means that probably 5% of residents ride instead of 2.5% - neither of which represents anything other than a very vocal numerically insignificant minority - but one who's agenda the City supports and is pushing).


Posted by Mr. X | August 6, 2007 2:21 PM
7

"How many of the 400 bike riders were from Fremont? Maybe the neighborhood demand for the bike lane is low."

Or, just maybe, neighborhood demand for the bike lane is high, and the 400 bike riders who attended the Wednesday rally were just the tip of the iceberg. I am a bicyclist who lives very close to Stone Way. I was unable to attend the rally on Wednesday, but I strongly support the bike lane all the way from 34th to Greenlake. I would assume that there are hundreds, if not thousands, more bike lane supporters like me, as the 400 who attended did so with pretty short notice and at a time (4:30) when most of us are still at work.

Posted by Will in 98103 | August 6, 2007 2:24 PM
8

Count me in as another 98103 utility biker who couldn't make the protest. I'd like to see everyone who wants to discourage utility cycling explain how they're going to:


* cut transport carbon intensity

* manage the risk of increased oil price volatility

* deal with the obesity crisis

* cut congestion

* and improve air quality


more cheaply. But then the only thing inexpensive about the anti-bikes crowd is the cheap shots they keep taking... :-)

Posted by Greg in 98103 | August 6, 2007 2:40 PM
9

I'd love to bike to work. Unfortunately:
* I can't afford to live anywhere near where I work.
* It rains for a large chunk of the year here, and I have yet to see a bicycle with a roof.

Posted by Orv | August 6, 2007 2:47 PM
10

@2 - I don't know about it. I do know a lot of people seem to be torn about that one.

@7 - I'm also in 98103. And I do see the trucks every day, but then I walk most of the time, so maybe that makes them more noticeable, and I don't travel at conventional "rush hour" times.

I notice when I travel at "rush hour" times there are way more cars and way fewer trucks. Bicyclists are about the same, regardless.

That said, I am very happy that the Burke-Gilman Trail is now going to reopen on schedule thru Fremont. Especially since the extra year shutdown was never part of any public hearings I was aware of ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 6, 2007 2:47 PM
11

it's not just people who live IN Fremont who use Stone Way, it's also people who live/work north of there, or have other business to conduct there, whether it's a pleasure ride or visiting friends.
current plans for Stone Way disregard not only cyclist but pedestrian safety, as well.
given our massive turnout and the response we have received, i would say those 400 people likely represented several thousand at least.
and then there are those who would like to but don't feel comfortable biking with the current arrangement. on a purely anecdotal sample,

Stone Way doesn't just serve Fremont, it serves all of North Seattle.

Additionally, it is important to note that all we have been asking for is for the city to follow the original plan they set forth, rather than caving to private interests. We were promised Complete Streets, and "the best cycling city in the country". I'm fighting for the former. All I want is to feel safe as I make my way from day to day, and for my peers to feel safe, as well.

Posted by Nova | August 6, 2007 2:51 PM
12

I think Josh's point, and we should all be sedated for this one, is valid. That said a quote from said Mr. McGinn would have shown some thoughtfulness, but that would be asking for two miracles in one day.

@7 and @10. 98103 ROCKS! We should all have shirts made up to show those Cap Hill kids who runs this town...besides West Seattle.

Posted by StrangerDanger | August 6, 2007 3:27 PM
13

I don't agree with Josh's point because I still don't see where he or ECB have made a compelling argument that the 6 month delay of striping 6 blocks, in a master plan that proposes 410 miles of bike related routes, is creating a large public demand for action either throughout the city, or in Fremont and the northern environs.

I am a 99.99% walker or bus rider and have nothing against bikers (except for a few lunatic messengers downtown). Any cheap shots I take are intended for Josh and ECB who seem to think any issue they latch onto is of great public interest - lack of evidence notwithstanding.

Posted by elrider | August 6, 2007 3:52 PM
14

Josh,

Seattle Great City Initiative supports bike lanes on Stone Way Ė and we have already been lobbying on it. You are right, we can make more noise than we have to date, but that is not because we donít care. So far we have been working with Cascade Bicycle Club on strategy. I worked to make sure that every City Council candidate committed to a position on Stone Way in the Sierra Club endorsement process. We will engage our growing membership on this, and we will continue lobbying council members and SDOT. We are also positioned to review this through our membership on the Bridging the Gap Oversight Committee.

This issue matters because it indicates how serious we are about implementing the Bicycle Master Plan, Complete Streets, and the Climate Action Plan. I take your posting as a challenge. Our goal, working alongside others, is to win.

Michael McGinn

Posted by Michael McGinn | August 6, 2007 4:07 PM
15

Mr. McGinn,

Please remember that this isn't just a bicycle issue. It is a safety issue.

21 pedestrians have been hit by cars on Stone Way between 2001 and 2006.

Supposedly the current partial bicycle lane striping on Stone Way is there for a 6 month review period. Apparently we are supposed to sit on our hands and wait for more fatalities.

What are the evaluation criteria at the end of the review period?

Posted by Michael in Ballard | August 6, 2007 5:03 PM
16

Josh and McGinn,

The Complete Streets notion is grand, but, as I have slogged before, the tricky part is actually providing priority on arterials that are simultaneously on more than one priority network: bicycle, pedestrian, transit, or freight. The SDOT Transportation Strategic Plan called for the several priority networks, but did not map them together to show where they conflicted. Now we are into implementation of the Bicycle Master Plan.


The SED, now SDOT, solution has been the three-lane profile with a two-way left turn lane. Parallel parking is usually retained. This profile has been installed on many transit arterials throughout Seattle (e.g., California Avenue SW, Delridge Way SW, Beacon Avenue South, Madison Street in First Hill, Madison Street in the valley, Broadway, Eastlake Avenue East, North 45th Street, 24th Avenue NW, Phinney-Greenwood avenues North, Dexter Avenue North, and finally now on Stone Way North).

The three-lane profile is good for bikes, pedestrians, parallel parking (car storage), and left turning traffic. It has tended to choke transit flow. Each bus stop is a pullout and becomes a bus trap as buses must wait longer for a break in traffic to re-enter flow. This slows transit flow in the peak periods and peak direction. Some very important transit routes have slowed significantly over the two decades of three-lane profiling. Broadway service is quite slow.Wallingford service is quite slow. Madison...

While true that the Comp plan calls for a bike friendly Seattle, it also calls for transit ridership to increase. Transit will not be attractive if it is slower and slower.

To speed transit and make it more attractive, both SDOT and Metro have to make significant changes. SDOT should provide in-lane stops. Metro should use all low floor coaches, close many bus stops, and speed fare collection.

Back to Stone Way North. I lived on Interlake Avenue North and North 42nd Street for four years in grad school. I also lived on Winslow Place North for six months. I am a bicycle commuter, so I have pedaled these streets.

As Cascade asserts, Stone Way North is a great corridor for bike lanes, as it has a topographical advantage in connecting Greenlake and the Burke-Gilman. However, it is also important for both freight and transit. Trucks and buses must stay on the arterials with wide turing radii. Cars and bikes may use any street. Two blocks west, Woodland Park Avenue North is a former streetcar ROW, quite wide, and good for biking. Wallingford Avenue North, about four blocks east, is also quite wide and calm and good for cycling. I pedalled uphill on Wallingford many times to reach the Honey Bear on North 56th Street and Keystone Place North.

Stone Way North carries Route 16 between North 40th and 45th streets (three trips per hour per direction). It carries routes 31 and 74 between North 35th and 40th streets (four trips per hour per direction). So, it is not a major transit corridor, but moderately important. Stone Way North also carries trucks to and from the transfer station and Suzy Burke.

Bicylists need a bike lane most when climbing uphill, as the speed differential with general traffic is greater.

SDOT should be more creative and use a different tool than the three-lane profile.

Please consider the following profile for Stone Way North:
Four travel lanes;
On the west downhill side, parallel parking and bus bulbs at the stops (except for the stop farside North 40th STreet, that is already in-lane due to the addition of the northbound right turn lane); add sharrows in the outside lane;
on the east uphill side, eliminate the parallel parking and add a bike lane; and,
on the east-west streets, add angled short-term parking and make them one-way.

North of North 45th Street, Stone Way North has no transit, and the current striping could continue.

It is time to provide priority to all the modes in the TSP (e.g., bike, transit, and freight) and take it from car storage. The arterial widths in Seattle are too scare to use them for two-way left turn lanes.

Go to Vancouver and see how few two-way left turn lanes they have.

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17

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