Nicole Brodeur at the Times agrees with the proposed changes to NE 125th, she just doesn’t realize it. She also doesn’t do her homework.
First, she spends several paragraphs in her Monday column suggesting that the plans are just “Mayor McSchwinn” pushing his pro-bike agenda, despite the fact that her own paper reported days ago that this project was ready to go before McGinn ever took office.
Then, she praises the bike lanes on Fauntleroy SW, but questions why they are being pushed on “already crowded” arterials like 125th:
To be fair, bike lanes seem to be working on Fauntleroy Way Southwest and on Dexter Avenue North, where there is room for them. In the case of Dexter, cars can drop down to Westlake Avenue North if need be.
But I don’t understand why already-crowded arterials are being cut in half to make room for cyclists who have other options.
Well, in 2008, NE 125th had average daily traffic volumes of 16,200. Guess how many Fauntleroy Way SW had in the same survey. 17,300. That’s 1,100 vehicles more than NE 125th. And like she says, they “seem to be working.”
So, basically, Nicole has just undercut her entire argument and proven that her cries that the changes “may turn an east-west thoroughfare into a thorough crawl, sending more cars racing down side streets” are completely unresearched and, turns out, unfounded.
Then she drops these lines: “Why narrow it? The only thing people don’t question is the fact that too many people speed on that road. I don’t think forcing four busy lanes of traffic into two is really the way to slow things down.” *Palm to forehead*
That’s great that you don’t think that’s the way to do it. We’ve gathered that. However, we’ve also gathered that you don’t think that’s the way to do it because you didn’t bother to read anything about the project, including your own paper’s reporting, before making up your mind and writing a misinformative pile of illogical gibberish in our fair city’s only remaining major daily.
Some major ideas missing from her analysis:
- Traffic calming is not about bikes, it’s about making roads safer for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists and, indeed, motor vehicles.
- The proposed road configuration can handle somewhere around 25,000 vehicles per day. NE 125th currently has about 9,000 cars less than that.
- About 25 similar projects have been carried out in Seattle since the 70s, many on roads with higher vehicle traffic than NE 125th.
- This study of a similar project on Stone Way, which has only slightly less traffic than NE 125th, shows that nearby streets did not see increased traffic and that traffic capacity was maintained and continues to flow.
For those of you who want to read about the project from sources that use things like “studies” and “logic”, here’s a list of articles and resources on the project:
- Our site’s most recent post
- Josh Cohen at Publicola’s most recent coverage
- SDOT’s blog features something called “facts”
- This Times article, while only interviewing people opposed to the project, at least bothered to do some research
- Here’s a map showing 2008 traffic data. Take a look at it before making anymore claims of “too much traffic”