In a speech very much focused on big economic investments, public safety, social justice and education, Mayor McGinn took a few moments to acknowledge the important role of safe streets both for public safety and economic development.
Though he doesn’t use the phrase “bicycle economy” like we did in a post about Fremont’s bike-powered boom last week, he makes sure to highlight that a new Brooks Sports/Skanska building in Fremont could bring along 300 new jobs. And the Burke-Gilman Trail is a huge reason why that location is so desirable to these companies.
From the Mayor’s State of the City Speech:
Last week I met with the CEO of Brooks Sports and the head of Skanska. They have submitted plans to construct a new green building in Fremont that will house Brooks’ headquarters and bring 300 new jobs to Seattle. Like Amazon they want to be in Seattle, creating new jobs next to the Burke Gilman Trail. Their CEO is very excited about this – he said “if you looked all over the world there isn’t a better place to be than the corner of Stone Way and 34th in Fremont.”
Given that big-time companies like Adobe, Google and now Skanska have all chosen to locate important offices in Fremont along the Burke-Gilman Trail, any business district that is hoping to attract these kinds of jobs should take a good look at its streets. Is this the kind of place where people can move about freely and happily? Because that’s what people want from a workplace, and the car-centric streets in many Seattle business districts are starting to look pretty backwards.
The mayor also talked about safe streets and the city-wide calls for neighborhood greenways. He said the clear message from the Road Safety Summit is that “everyone should feel safe out there.”
One of the things that makes our neighborhoods special is that we have a lot of ways to get around. One of the common themes in our neighborhood plans is that people want the sense of community that comes from being able to walk around and get to know your neighbors.
Residents have begun organizing to design and build neighborhood greenways for bicycles, and with Councilmember Bagshaw we’re doing our part to help. A group of residents on Linden Avenue in the North End, many of them seniors, organized to ask the city to build sidewalks, bike paths, and other improvements to help them get around safely. That project is out to bid and should begin construction this spring.
Soon we will announce our Transportation Action Agenda for the next three years, describing the work we’re doing across this city for every mode of travel.
We know there have been concerns about how we share the roads, especially in the wake of tragedies that took place on our streets and sidewalks last year. That’s why we called together a Road Safety Summit. Working with Councilmembers Bagshaw and Rasmussen, we brought the public together to listen to what they had to say. We heard a lot of ideas and comments about ways we can improve safety on our roads. But the main thing we heard was that people in Seattle agree — everyone should feel safe out there.
As a result of that summit, later this spring we will launch a sustained campaign to address safety on our roads. It will emphasize education, enforcement, and the way we design our roads for safety. It will also focus on creating a culture of empathy on our roads.
Watch the speech:
Text of the speech:
FINAL SOTC With Links1