I received a troubling press release today from SDOT. In announcing the completion of the 1.4-mile, $3.8 million Holman Road repaving project, the department and Director Scott Kubly repeatedly refer to the street as a “complete street.”
If Holman Road is a complete street, then that term means nothing.
Holman Road is a busy, mean, wide, fast and uncomfortable street the slices off Crown Hill from the rest of the city. It may be the worst street in Northwest Seattle, a four-to-five-lane car sewer cutting a diagonal across the neighborhood street grid and demolishing all walkability and bikeability in the area.
When the city decided against utilizing this repaving project as a chance to complete a safe streets redesign or a chance to revolutionize biking in Crown Hill and Northwest Seattle by installing bike lanes, they lost the right to call this a “complete street.”
Holman was and still is all about moving cars quickly at any expense, including safety of people walking and biking. Building two new pedestrian refuge islands in the middle of a terrifying highway-style road in no way makes this a complete street. That’s like rebuilding a trench full of crocodiles in the middle of a neighborhood, but hanging a few rickety rope-and-plank bridges across it and calling it a success for walking safety. Continue reading