I’m trying something new for this month’s meeting of the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board. I’m posting the agenda now in case you want to attend (they are open to the public). But and I will update this post during the meeting tonight to fill you all in on what is discussed.
The Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board is run by volunteers who are approved by the City Council to advise the city (especially SDOT) on matters relating to bicycling. SBAB meetings (first Wednesday of each month) are often interesting, but items discussed don’t always get turned into full stories here on the blog. I’m hoping this will be a way to get interesting stuff out there. So check this post later for updates.
Here’s the agenda:
It is wet outside. Lots of soaked rain gear in this room.
Bicycle Master Plan Update
Appellants dropped appeal to plan February 14 (“A nice Valentine’s Day present”).
Working with new Council staff, since Bill LaBorde moved from CM Tom Rasmussen’s office to SDOT.
Comments are still coming in amid the delay in City Council adoption. Any changes would have to be pretty major to get in at this point. Staff have been making minor tweaks.
Transportation Committee will take it up on April 8, could get voted out of committee to be put up for a full Council vote in early April.
Q: Has the delay in the plan impacted the city’s work? A: Not yet, but they are starting to develop a multi-year work plan, and it would be great to have the plan passed.
Budget presentation not happening at this meeting, but Sam Woods wants to know what specific budget info the Board would like to see.
Part of the problem is that it’s sometimes hard to tell what is a “bicycle” project.
Reiterates that safety is SDOT’s top priority.
Notes that city ordinance 122386 was “an unfunded mandate.”
Seattle arterial streets are 60-65-feet on average, constrained for so many competing uses.
SDOT is the only department that is responsible for complete streets. If another city department (say, utility), wants to do work and patch the street back up without making it a complete street, they can.
Since passing in 2007, bike commuting is up 41 percent.
Complete Streets elements include things like proper lighting (sidewalks and streets) as well as things like freight access where applicable.
Apparently there is an allowable exception to the complete streets ordinance for the sake of “public safety.” Susan says she has not seen this used.
Complete streets process within SDOT: Complete Streets staff (Susan) work with each project’s manager to identify needed improvements, often pulling from the Bike and Walk Master Plans.
Among ongoing projects: 23rd Ave, Holman Road, Madison BRT, Broadway Streetcar Extension, 3rd Ave Transit Corridor.
Merlin Rainwater (Bike Board member) questions the idea that a parallel street can make an arterial street “complete.” We’re making “complete streets” not “complete corridors.” A nearby neighborhood greenway doesn’t adequately improve access to the many amenities and destinations on a commercial street.
Perhaps the next generation of complete streets will involve other departments, not just SDOT.
Goal to start construction in 2015.
About 1,275 parking spaces in the corridor.
Why a bike lane on Westlake when Dexter is so close?
- If you’re on Westlake, you can’t get up to Dexter (there’s a big hill)
- There is a lot of growth in the area.
- Dexter is not an all-ages-and-abilities facility.
$3.6 million project, $1.7 million from the Puget Sound Regional Council.
Forming the Design Advisory Committee now. 13 members, should be announced soon (part of the bike plan lawsuit settlement).
Next open house is in May.
Survey will go out to residents and business owners tomorrow.
Design advisory committee will be appointed by Mayor Ed Murray. Will advise the design team during Phase 1, and may evolve into a another role later.
SDOT will retain final design decision ability.
Looking for people who live, work and travel through the area. People who walk and bike will be part of it. Cascade has a spot for sure.
Meetings will not exactly be secret, but also not totally public. Trying to cut down on disruption, hoping the committee members will be able to develop a relationship with each other and act as liaisons to their communities.
Will there be an environmental impact statement? Unsure yet if the project scope will meet the requirements for one.
Putting the cycle track on the west side of the street is looking pretty pricey. Either it requires retaining walls if the street is maintained as is (four lanes), or it is built into the street and the drainage must be redone.
City is not waiting for the light rail project. Westlake is one of the options for a high capacity transit route to Ballard and beyond, but that is operating on a much longer time frame than this project.
Neighborhood Greenways Workplan
A couple routes added to this year’s workplan include:
- East-West Route in the Central District (likely using the Columbia Street crossing planned as part of the 23rd corridor project)
- North-South route in the Rainier Valley
- A route in the International District (maybe King Street?)
- The Lake Washington Loop greenway route has been removed from a map originally planned so that the city can coordinate with Phase 3 of the 23rd Ave Corridor project (and the neighborhood greenway planned there)