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Video: Livable Streets Mayoral Forum + Mayoral race open thread

Thank you to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways for inviting me to be a co-moderator of Monday’s Livable Streets Forum Monday. Thanks also to my partner-in-moderating Deb Salls, Executive Director of Bike Works.

I’ve never moderated anything like this before, so it was a great learning experience. Biking home from the event, it hit me that Seattle Neighborhood Greenways did not even exist during the last mayoral race. Neither did Seattle Bike Blog (our third birthday is next week!). The conversation about streets sure has changed quickly.

Below is the video of the forum from Seattle Channel, submitted without further comment on the race. Please use the comments to discuss the mayoral race from a streets perspective. Seattle Bike Blog has yet to endorse in the race. Our endorsement will come later this month before ballots are mailed.

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You have until Monday to register or update your registration info. Ballots will be mailed July 19. Deadline to register in-person is July 29. Primary is August 6 (ballots must be postmarked or hand-delivered to a drop box by then).

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7 responses to “Video: Livable Streets Mayoral Forum + Mayoral race open thread”

  1. Gordon

    Icebreaker: first memory of traveling somewhere on your own

    Harrell, Murray, McGinn, and Steinbrueck’s first memories are walking to school.

    First major question: How to get kids safely to school

    Steinbrueck: Find ways to make off street pedestrian connections through private property easements

    McGinn: “We’re going to keep expanding [speed cameras] to more [schools]” and put the money raised directly to safe routes to schools

    Staadecker: Neighborhood police, crossing guards around schools, educate kids not to cross mid-block (causes 80% of the injuries!?)

    Gray: Facilitate what pedestrian advocates already know and are doing

    Murray: expanding safe routes to school program, emphasis bridging the gap, work with local neighborhoods, he’s a big fan of chicanes (does anybody advocate for chicanes any more?)

    K. Martin: Current mayor still on the 400 year plan for sidewalks, she claims she has a 10 year plan. Claims city only put $18,000 from general fund towards sidewalks last budget. Moving violations should be more common

    Harrell: 40 years ago 42% of kids lived within a mile and almost 90% walked or biked, now only about 13% do (not clear if this is reference to walk/bike to school or live within a mile). improve safety. encourage parents to build walking trains which he calls “walking parties.” Community Service Officers in the police department to help

  2. Gordon

    How to make it easier for those 85 to age gracefully and get around

    McGinn: Hope we see an absolute transformation by the time he is a senior to keep seniors mobile. Should be first choice for seniors to be able to get around by walking, biking, and transit for health, environment, economy.

    Mary Martin: Revolution!

    Staadecker: As mayor you have to prioritize and it’s not about silos it’s about working together, expand the tax base of our city so we can afford “these things” through trade, tourism, skills for workers

    Gray: Extreme action as soon as possible to get ourselves off fossil fuel. I don’t own a car because I don’t want to be dependent on tar sands oil. The ADA is one of my favorite laws.

    Murray: Over the last four years the major backlog of our crumbling infrastructure has grown to $2 billion. We did pass bridging the gap, but the general fund portion of our funding has shrunk. We have to prioritize and identify how are are going to pay for it. Vancouver has done this, their first priority was pedestrians.

    Kate Martin: 95% of sidewalks were paid for by landowners in Seattle. City pays for intersection areas of sidewalks, have landowners pay for the rest.

    Harrell: Transportation becomes too polarizing a debate. 1) Focus on the basics 2) Stable funding source. Have to look at a vehicle license fee, failed at $60, but maybe $40 would be better if we sold it better to the voters.

    Steinbrueck: Extremely unsafe road and arterial conditions in City. I would sleep better if I could eliminate traffic death. “I think Greenways are the answer.” I want to see “all 97” neighborhoods in the city with access to a Neighborhood Greenway. “My own mother in law was tragically killed at a crossing.”

  3. Van

    Bit of a summary of the questions, and my own frustrations.

    1. The first question was regarding a concerned parent wanting her 3rd grade child to bike/walk to school, lots of talk about crosswalks and volunteers, but NO proposals to teach children bike safety. You can admire the surface of biking systems around the world, but there’s more than paint. There’s structure behind it. Martin briefly mentions teaching her own children at Bike Works, but launches into sidewalks. Harrell briefly mentions partnering with schools, but vaguely. We need support in our schools too, don’t get me wrong, love Bike Works, but I am still holding out for it being a part of public schooling.

    2. Imagine being 85 and look back on your legacy as Mayor what would you be most proud of? Really drew attention to how close many candidates were close to that age already. Lots of talk of jobs, climate change, sidewalks, and precognitive nostalgia. I don’t need sidewalks fixed in 40 years, I ended up in the hospital last week because of the sidewalk on NE 15 Ave. Thank goodness I’m not a senior now, or needing to push a stroller or use a walker anywhere. At least Steinbrueck was bothered by the cycle/pedestrian fatality rate, but injury rate is a factor too.

    3. How would you allocate $100 to road repair, sidewalks, bike lanes, street trees and transit service? Starts, really, at 36:35, so skip to there after the question, and ends at about 42:10. Honestly, don’t rely on a summary of that section, the amounts allocated to each vary depending on reason. If they give a reason. Or allocate funds, and don’t just use the question to package a message.

    4. What percent (in light of Vancouver’s goal of 50%) of all trips will be made by bike by the end of your term? All except one had handwriting sufficient to answer, but the camera pans pretty fast.

    5. Low income neighborhoods have a disproportionately high number of fatalities, would you support fixing the streets? Camera panned a bit fast, so you’ll need to be pretty fast to pause and read a couple responses. But overall, its mostly yes.

    6. Lots of different projections on how long each one thinks it will take to complete Seattle’s Master Pedestrian Plan. The camera pans slower here and there’s an amusing moment where all the candidates hold up their projection like an Olympic judge.

    7. Support protected bike-lanes in commercial areas even at the expense of parking and travel lanes? Here the camera zooms WAAAY back again so you can only tell when someone answers yes or no.

    8. School zone speed cameras, add more? Again the camera is zoomed out, but pretty much every candidate wants to add more. I don’t know how I feel about it myself, or if its been effective in the areas cameras have been installed. I’d love to know if they’re actually effective.

    9. Support 2015 levy to fund Seattle’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans? I think everyone said yes, but darn if I could make out the smaller text on some of them.

    Mixed bag of questions after 9., one question, one candidate, all pretty easy to answer questions.

    10. Inspiration from other cities; I like the idea of a bike assist uphill, especially here in Seattle, and Monlaker blog sums up the thoughts on this nicely. But this brings me back to the first question, how do these other places integrate cycling into their culture? I just think its more than physical structure that makes a place walk-able or bike-able. And improving cycling conditions does create jobs, ask any courier or business wanting to use cycle delivery.

    73:33 each candidate gives a one minute closing statement. I agree with Erica from Publicola, there’s not a set of “winners,” or “losers,” (good review of the debate, btw), but I do think I got better insight on how seriously each of the candidates takes the problems facing our streets and sidewalks.

    Tom, Deb, you guys did a GREAT job moderating! Thanks for getting us cyclists some answers.

  4. I thought it was notable that Staadecker (not that he ever had much of a chance of my vote, nor the general election) decided to throw young people under the bus when asked about playing in the streets, by saying “his generation” drove more carefully. One off-hand remark that spoke volumes about his attitudes.

    Other things I didn’t mention on my blog…

    Steinbrueck’s emphasis on greenways and private property easements, I think, are representative of his whole campaign concept. It’s all about your pleasant neighborhood. But once you get to the intersections, to businesses a greenway can’t access, to the parts of town that generate our jobs and prosperity, he has no vision, no plan, no ideas suitable for an influential and dynamic city. And for sustainable transportation that means more of the same, “slouching towards automorrah”, if you will.

    My big fear with Murray is that his desire for reconciliation with Olympia will cause him to sell out his stated transportation principles (because I don’t think these are the issues he holds dearest). This is what I read into most of his criticisms of McGinn, and it’s why I don’t trust him. I could be wrong. I’d like to know: at what point would he stand up and criticize state leaders?

    I disagree with a handful of Harrell’s positions on transportation/land-use/parking but I think he’d make a good executive. If I liked the council more politically I might support him. If I could vote for Harrell and McGinn trading offices I’d be tempted.

  5. Jeik

    Thanks for the reminder to update voter registrations!!

  6. Becka

    Thank you Van and Gordon for typing out some of the important questions for us!

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