Mayor McGinn’s proposed 2013-14 budget includes some strong support for biking and walking improvements, including a big boost to the city’s Safe Routes to School and neighborhood greenway efforts.
We reported on these proposals previously. SDOT Director Peter Hahn recently presented about the transportation portion of the budget to the City Council (see below), outlining some of the details more clearly.
Among the new pieces we noticed is that the budget includes Federal funds for the Westlake Cycle Track we wrote about previously, suggesting that there is some real momentum behind that project.
In addition to boosts to the road paving and pothole programs, the budget includes creation of a Center City Mobility Plan, which will likely include a full plan for downtown cycle tracks. While we would prefer funding to actually build a cycle track (or two), this is the first time the city has put serious money and attention behind the idea of downtown cycle tracks. If things go well all around, Seattle could be on track to have both downtown cycle tracks and bike share by 2014.
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw strongly supported the biking and walking investments in a recent blog post, which could be a good sign for the proposals as they move toward Council approval:
I am particularly glad to note that enhancements to pedestrian and bicycle mobility are a key component of the 2013-2014 Proposed Budget. The proposed budget funds bicycle facilities, sidewalk safety, Safe Routes to Schools, the creation of a Center City Mobility Plan, the continued good work of the Bike Master Plan, cycle tracks and greenways.
Also of note in the video: Council Member Nick Licata asked Hahn why the 85th St paving project in Greenwood did not include a road diet. Hahn said it went through the Complete Streets process, but it did not meet traffic number thresholds (i.e. there were too many cars, which sounds like a good reason for a road diet to me).
Hahn also addressed the Ship Canal transit/biking/walking bridge study, saying he did not know where the crossing might be (that’s the point of the study), but options include 8th Ave, in Ballard or near Fremont. The Ballard and 8th Ave options would certainly do the most for providing an alternative to the Ballard Bridge, which is miserable and dangerous for people biking and walking.
The budget also anticipates that construction on the Burke-Gilman Missing Link could begin in 2013. This, of course, is always subject to change.
Here’s the video (skip to 27:00):
Here’s the presentation: