• SDOT
  • THE PLAN FOR THE MASTER PLAN FOR BICYCLES Somehow, was totally ignored.

Soooo uh, somebody fucked up. Why was Deputy Mayor Kate Joncas on hand at a city council committee meeting yesterday, apologizing profusely?

"It got dropped internally, and we didn't catch it," Joncas said, under questioning from Council Member Mike O'Brien.

"It is not credible that it was just dropped without people being aware that it was an important thing that was being dropped," Rasmussen retorted. Then they all smiled awkwardly and moved on to the next agenda item.

It was due to the City Council on July 18, according Section 8 of the Bike Master Plan, passed by the council in April. But it doesn't exist.

The it that was dropped was a critical layer of planning by SDOT to rank the cycletracks, bike lanes, and improvements within the Bike Master Plan and specify which are the highest priorities over the next five years.

"The bike master plan goes out to 20 years," explains Cascade Bicycle Club's policy manager Brock Howell. "This is just a way to say, 'That’s a nice 20 year plan.' What are we going to do now?"

"The BMP Implementation Plan from SDOT was due to Council and SBAB by July 18," said the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board in a Tuesday letter to the council, "yet to date we have not seen a draft nor received a presentation on its likely content. We have requested updates on its status or an updated time-frame for its completion several times, but have received no formal communication from the department."

That means that for nearly a month, SDOT was AWOL on this important planning document. And the department was mum on why it was AWOL. Here's the video of the apology from Joncas and Scott Kubly, the incoming SDOT Director:

So why was this prioritization plan ignored? Joncas and Kubly didn't have much of an answer for the council yesterday, but basically, they say SDOT just has a lot on its plate, plus they're both new hires.

And according to Cascade Bicycle Club's Howell, the mayor "made a really good decision" back in May to speed up the development of a protected bike lane on Second Avenue, so that ahead of the September launch of Pronto Bicycle Share, there's "a safe place downtown to actually bicycle north to south." Currently, it's a notorious deathtrap. Howell speculated that SDOT had to divert staff from one thing to another.

Still, Howell says, the decision to do one important task at the expense of another "should have been communicated to Rasmussen more fully with a little bit greater buy-in. That’s probably true with a lot of things across the city, between agencies. It’s just a general problem that we have."

Want more info on this plan-plan screwup? Seattle Bike Blog has you covered. Rasmussen's office says it expects the implementation plan to be ready by October.