Bike and transit advocacy should work together, meetup Saturday

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 11.47.21 AMWashington State’s downtown Seattle highway tunnel is at least $223 million over budget and 2 and a half years behind schedule. All for one highway tunnel expected to carry 40,000 motor vehicles per day once it opens with no transit and no walking or biking access.

When thinking about urban transportation in terms of mega-projects like the highway tunnel, it’s easy to forget that we can dramatically increase mobility in our city just by making better use of our city streets. Streets with efficient and frequent transit, comfortable sidewalks and crosswalks, and safe and connected bike lanes can carry huge numbers of people. Multimodal streets are also better for small businesses and are more enjoyable places to be. Importantly, renovating streets costs a tiny fraction as much as a highway tunnel, even if that tunnel is on-budget (though mega-projects rarely are).

If safe streets advocates and transit supporters can advocate together, the multimodal corridor projects (partially) funded by the Move Seattle levy could be amazing. But if these projects pit transit against walking and biking safety (see also: Eastlake Ave), they will fall apart.

That’s why Seattle Transit Blog, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Cascade Bicycle Club, Transportation Choices Coalition and Feet First are hosting a multimodal meetup 1 p.m. Saturday (Seattle Bike Blog would be there, but I’m out of town visiting family). Swing by the Impact Hub at 2nd and Washington in Pioneer Square to get involved.

More details from the Facebook event:

How can Seattle’s transit, walking, and biking advocates work together to create a safe and reliable transportation system?

This meetup is a first step towards cooperative advocacy.

We’ll be using the Move Seattle Levy as lens. The levy promised to implement 7 Rapid Ride Plus corridors by 2024. The levy also promises to implement walking and biking safety projects along some of these corridors and along other priority transit corridors (such as Pike/Pine). We’ll be looking at these corridors and discussing potential ways to work towards bold solutions that prioritize people who walk, bike, and take transit.

Co-sponsored by the Seattle Transit Blog, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Cascade Bicycle Club, Transportation Choices Coalition, and Feet First (contact gordon@seattlegreenways.org if your organization would like to be involved).

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