UPDATE: It passes the committee. See the Montlaker blog for live updates from the meeting.
As we reported previously, the state is looking to the City Council for guidance on certain design considerations on the west end of the 520 project. So far, the state’s design does not adequately take into account the biking and walking environment. For example, the first draft of the design would make Montlake more dangerous and uncomfortable for biking and especially walking, as Central Seattle Greenways has noted. It also does not include a very popular biking and walking trail between Montlake and Roanoke.
The Council considered a version of the resolution in January that called for many improvements. Today, they will consider and potentially vote on an even tighter resolution that clearly calls for the Portage Bay Trail, on top of the previously noted biking and walking improvements across I-5 and in Montlake.
Councilmember Nick Licata posted about the resolution on his blog:
The resolution endorses the general vision in the Seattle Community Design Process final report, and concurs with specific recommendations, including:
- Shifting the bridge to the north of the position in the EIS preferred alternative, while working (included in an amendment) with the Queen City Yacht Club to ensure any effects are addressed;
- A bicycle and pedestrian path across I-5, and
- Buffering along East Lake Washington Boulevard
It also states that the City and State should continue to develop options on issues raised in the report, including:
- A statement of support for providing a bicycle and pedestrian path on the Portage Bay Bridge, while minimizing the width of the bridge, and seeking to preserve a reliable transit pathway across the bridge to and from I-5;
- A wider range of options for the Montlake lid, and how best to support connections for transit, pedestrian and bike users;
- An amendment includes pursuing improvements in bicycle and pedestrian connections for people of all ages and abilities throughout the project area; you can view my comments thanking Conlin for this language here, in particular the importance of the language regarding people of all ages and abilities.
Finally, the resolution designates the Design Commission as a coordinating voice across City departments.
I support providing a bike and pedestrian trail on the Portage Bay portion of the replacement bridge, with minimal expansion of the size of the bridge. I am pleased the resolution supports developing options to accomplish these goals. I also support improving bicycle and pedestrian connections, accessibility and safety in the Montlake area, and adjacent neighborhoods.
I look forward to supporting the resolution.
Stay tuned for updates this afternoon. Here’s the amended version of the resolution: