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Tree czar! If power corrupts, what will happen to the tree czar?

Posted by bma | April 7, 2008 1:14 PM

I like the VMT proposal and the surface parking reduction proposal.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 7, 2008 1:23 PM

I take it that Metro will then reduce the number of bus stops so there isn't a crosswalk every block? And, frankly, Seattle drivers have become inured to crosswalks. Unless you back them up by adding a stop light or stop sign, they're meaningless and may be more dangerous than having nothing.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 7, 2008 1:29 PM


I agree 100%! Chris Bridges for "Tree Czar"!!

Posted by Clint | April 7, 2008 1:50 PM

Why, exactly, should we turn I-5 into a cave?

Posted by Greg | April 7, 2008 1:51 PM

The BF had a great idea to help with cyclists. Make them get a license, just like motorcycle riders. You may scoff at this, but it would make them take a class, learning how to increase visibility/safety/learn the rules of the road.

I have seen many bikers hugging the sidewalk side of the lane, when that is the least visible place to be seen. They also then dart across sidewalks like a pedestrian if they get to a red light.

If you saw an on-road/off-road moterbike doing that, you would question the persons sanity.

You are either riding on the street or not. Stop being a hybrid. Stop thinking you get both benefits of pedestrians and cars. I think we need to mandate licenses. It would be beneficial for rider safety and would give more importance to bike only lanes.

Just sayin.

Posted by Original Monique | April 7, 2008 1:59 PM

hmm... am i going to help you open this box of worms? why can't a bicycle be a hybrid? it is possible to safely maneuver from the street to the sidewalk, and often benefits cars and cyclists alike. that said, yeah, throw out a few bike lanes to do the same trick.

Posted by infrequent | April 7, 2008 2:06 PM

@5, when it's constructed it's not a cave, it's a tunnel.

If money were no object, then by all means lid I-5. We should develop our city for people and not cars, and I-5 is a scar separating downtown from its neighborhoods. I suspect the cost would be more than prohibitive, unfortunately.

Posted by Cascadian | April 7, 2008 2:14 PM

@6: I absolutely applaud your statement and the push for mandatory bicyclist licensing. Look! I'm a car, I'm a pedestrian, I'm a car, I'm a pedestrian! If you want to be treated like a motorist then stick to motorist-only laws of the road so motorists know what to expect from you. You do not get to hop on the sidewalk and run across the crosswalk and then back on the road to beat the red light. You are one or the other. Pick one.

And ECB: "...elevated viaduct voters rejected more than a year ago." Might we remind you that that was an ADVISORY VOTE. And additionally, voter turnout was appallingly low. So you can't really interpret that to be a majority public consensus.

Posted by Vivalaviaduct | April 7, 2008 2:17 PM

@8: Tunnels are underground. Considering how much of I-5 is up on stilts between the ship canal and I-90, you can't really call it a tunnel, even if it feels like one from the inside.

But semantics aside, trying to build across the top of an I-5 lid would pretty much require another Denny regrade, as far as I can tell. Otherwise I don't see how you'd build up high enough to really get pedestrians across. (Roads? Bike trails? Forget it.)

Posted by Greg | April 7, 2008 2:44 PM

Hey... @6 &@9- as a former delivery driver the "I'm a car! I'm a pedestrian!" was what I did for a living. Thoughtful people on bikes are capable of making those transitions. Maybe a license ain't a bad idea... but the MO of adaptive riding should continue to be a "given".
So, planning the potential urban forest component is "ludicrous?"
Is it so much so that no discussion (or list of ludicrosities) is necessary? Enlighten me... ^..^

Posted by herbert browne | April 7, 2008 2:47 PM


That isn't Capitol Hill over there. I think this is probably referring to the Olive Way bridge or the Madison bridge.

Posted by Cale | April 7, 2008 2:47 PM

I don't see what is wrong with a tree czar. If he is as crazy about planting trees as our drug czar is about incarcerating non-violent offenders, we should be in good shape.

Posted by Cale | April 7, 2008 2:50 PM

@9. cyclists don't want to be treated as a motorist. and quite frankly, motorists probably don't want to have to treat them that way either.

cyclists want to be treated like cyclists. we have plenty of laws already. but for many, they are not good enough. for some reason, many people who ride cars don't think a cyclists should have the option of riding on the sidewalk -- because they should act like a car, and cars don't go on the sidewalks. i find this reasoning very strange.

Posted by infrequent | April 7, 2008 4:23 PM

Because bikes are vehicles, and riding one on the sidewalk is dangerous. Bikes should ride in the street with other vehicles, and be subject to all the same laws as them.

Posted by Fnarf | April 7, 2008 5:12 PM

You have sidewalks, @15?

Are you sure you live in Seattle?

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 7, 2008 6:05 PM

Bikes can't keep up with cars and slow the system down, so they shouldn't ride in the street. Bikes can harm pedestrians when they ride in the sidewalk.


Dedicated bike lanes.

We need them everywhere we can get them.

Posted by Cale | April 7, 2008 6:57 PM

while dedicated bike lanes would be great, until we have them, we are stuck with the current road/sidewalk conditions, and the current set of laws. there are many streets where it is safer to ride on the sidewalk. uphill and few peds make it the preferable method for cars and cyclists alike.

and subject to all the same laws? i'm not sure that's even possible. the fact that we even have bike lanes is proof of this.

Posted by infrequent | April 7, 2008 7:51 PM


Isn't it washington state law that bikes ride on the road? If you are on the road, then follow the rules of the road.

If you are slowing vehicles, just like a large truck, pull off to the side, let people pass and then get back into the lane.

If you want to be on the sidewalk, then fine, but that means you have to be like a pedestrian. Pick one or the other. Bike lanes are the best, but until then, for your safety...follow the rules of the road.

Posted by Original Monique | April 7, 2008 9:04 PM

WSDOT State Bicycling Law:

"Riding on the Road - When riding on a roadway, a cyclist has all the rights and RESPONSIBILITIES of a vehicle driver (RCW 46.61.755). Cyclists who violate traffic laws may be ticketed (RCW 46.61.750)."

Posted by vivalaviaduct | April 7, 2008 9:28 PM

There is no obligation for cyclists (or trucks for that matter) to pull over on city streets and let cars past just because they're faster. Bicycles HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY if they want and need it, just like cars do. It's a courtesy, sure, but only when it's safe and doesn't require special maneuvers.

If you're stuck behind a bike, deal with it; you may not squeeze them or try to sneak past them unsafely. Three feet of clearance is considered a normal minimum.

Traffic laws are for everybody.

Posted by Fnarf | April 8, 2008 2:55 AM

@21: BUT, any vehicle holding up five or more behind must pull over and let them pass. This includes bikes, as described in #20.

Posted by Greg | April 8, 2008 7:26 AM

original monique,

no, in washington you can legally ride a bicycle on the sidewalk. some people find this surprising.(RCW 46.61.755) when people complain about bicyclists who only slow at stop signs, and then also complain about bicycles riding on sidewalks, it seems the complaints are motivated by concerns other than, "it's a vehicle, you have to follow the laws of vehicles."

@20. the law can say they have all the rights and responsibilities, but there are, in fact, some separate rules for bicyclists. and you don't have all the rights. from the same webpage: Some designated sections of the state's limited access highway system may be closed to bicycles for safety reasons...In addition, local governments may adopt ordinances banning cycling on specific roads or on sidewalks within business districts.

you highlight the word "responsibilities" like car drivers are doing some civil service that bicyclists aren't. i am 100% certain laws are bent by car drivers constantly. if nothing else, consider speeding, or parallel parking, or other things i listed here.

fnarf and greg makes some good points about some seeming contradictions bicyclists face. you are pretty much always slowing vehicles when you ride a bicycle. cars face similar quandaries when passing cyclists -- or pulling up next to one at an intersection.

we adapt to the rules in a way that makes sense, and create new rules when appropriate.

the final few comments here talk about what good cyclists do. i still wonder why people get so upset about cyclists. what harm is it if they bend a few rules? i think there is some strange jealousy going on.

Posted by infrequent | April 8, 2008 10:54 AM

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