Starring: Sylvester Stallone as The-Changes-Will-Cause-Major-Congestion, Arnold Schwarzenegger as Traffic-Will-Be-Forced-Onto-Nearby-Streets, Stone Cold Steve Austin as I-Didn’t-Do-Any-Research-Into-Any-of-These-Statements-Before-Freaking-Out-And-Printing-Off-A-Bunch-Of-Alarmist-Fliers! Also starring That Guy From Those Guy Ritchie Films as SDOT-Never-Asked-Us-Our-Opinions-Even-Though-They-Held-An-Open-House-And-100-People-Showed-Up!
Looks like the same old arguments are coming around again, this time over proposed changes to NE 125th. They are like tired old action stars making shitty movie after shitty movie. Sure, maybe the idea of seeing them all in action again is kind of appealing at first, but then you look a little further into it and watch the trailer and you realize, Oh, man, this movie of going to be a smelly pile of dog shit.
Instead of explaining again how “tailoring” roads to fit the road users is better for everyone (including drivers), I’ll let Cascade Bicycle Club handle that for me.
Here’s an interesting figure, though, if it makes you more comfortable: In 2008, NE 125th was handling 16,200 cars per day on average. Stone Way handles about 1,000 fewer cars, and Stone Way is no where close to having traffic backup troubles (at least not any closer than it was when it was a four-lane). NE 45th west of I-5, however, handled 22,300 cars in 2008 under a similar configuration as the one proposed for NE 125th (it, however, does not have bike lanes and is completely treacherous on a bicycle. I take 47th/46th instead).
My point is, you will be fine. Projects like these have been happening to streets with comparable traffic levels all over the city for decades, and they consistently reduce speeding and are safer for pedestrians, bicycles, vehicle drivers, cats, raccoons, and earthworms (well, I dunno about earthworms). Nearly 15 percent of vehicles on NE 125th are currently driving at least ten miles per hour over the speed limit. That’s unacceptable and dangerous for everyone.
Cars will still move just fine and you will still get to work. Likely, there will hardly be any delays in your travels. And think how nice it will be to be able to cross the street on foot without fearing for your life.
Anyway, the image below was posted by Cascade. Someone has been handing out this fear-mongering flier with lies and half-truths about the project to get people to voice their concerns to the city and elected officials. Want to voice your support? E-mail [email protected] and tell them you like streets that allow people to get around while killing as few people as possible.
With parking what it is in Seattle, I’m surprised cycling advocates aren’t making more out of the whole, “If you give me a place to ride my bike, I won’t be competing with you for a parking spot” argument. Yes, the city may occasionally convert parking spots into bicycle parking. But even then, you’re still going to accommodate a lot more cyclists in that one spot than if you keep it reserved for cars.
Many car drivers view cyclists as losers who can’t afford a car. The truth is that most of us *do* own cars and could just as easily be clogging up the parking lot when a good bike lane coupled with a bike rack will free up a parking spot for those who choose not to bike.
Except that The Expendables isn’t real and thus will entertain us with explosions, sarcasm and cliches. Think of the congestion! guy will do none of these things.
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