City announces plans for NE 75th Street road diet, will try to implement before school starts

From SDOT's design plans. See full PDF here.

From SDOT’s design plans. See full PDF here.

NE_75th_proposal_4The city announced its plans for a safer NE 75th Street late last week, and hopes to complete work on the road safety project before school starts at nearby Eckstein Middle School September 4.

Since 2009, there have been 114 collisions reported in the one-mile section of NE 75th between 15th and 35th. One of those was so devastating that it prompted neighbors to mourning and to action. The state legislature even pushed through DUI law changes at the last minute of the session partly in response to the terrible March collision that killed Judy and Dennis Schulte and critically injured their daughter-in-law and infant grandchild, who are still fighting back to health.

The outrage and sorrow also spurred the city to action on the notoriously dangerous street. SDOT expedited a road safety project for a one-mile stretch of the street, holding several public meetings then coming back with a series of design options.

After public opinion clearly favored a design that would add a center turn lane and bike lanes, the city decided to move forward with the plan in the hopes of getting the new design painted before classes start at nearby Eckstein Middle School, less than six months after the tragic collision that spurred the project.

Here’s a recent email from Mayor Mike McGinn to neighbors of the project:

Dear Residents,

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the outreach process for the Northeast 75th Street Road Safety Corridor Project. We’ve received more than 300 letters and emails about the project, and more than 150 people attended public meetings to discuss potential changes to the roadway face-to-face with city staff.

After five public meetings, numerous on-site observations, and a review of traffic data, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) reached a final recommendation for the corridor, involving the following changes to Northeast 75th Street between 15th Avenue Northeast and 35th Avenue Northeast:

·         Providing one general purpose travel lane in each direction

·         Installing a two-way center left turn lane

·         Adding a new marked crosswalk at 28th Avenue Northeast

·         Striping bicycle lanes in both directions

·         Removing on-street parking on Northeast 75th Street, except at Nathan Eckstein Middle School where parking will be maintained for school buses and general parking

·         Adding photo enforcement cameras for the Nathan Eckstein school zone

SDOT will begin implementing these changes the week of August 26th. It is their goal to complete the new roadway striping complete in time for the start of the school year on September 4th.

The goal of this project is to create streets that operate safely and efficiently for everyone. Since 2009 there have been 114 collisions reported along this one mile long corridor. Data shows that speeding is a problem on the roadway and that collisions involving left turning vehicles are common. With this project SDOT believes that speeds will drop and the number of collisions will be reduced. SDOT will monitor the conditions closely after the project is complete and make operational changes if necessary.

I’ve been following this issue closely since the tragedy that took place in March. I have heard from the public, their feedback and concerns about safety at this location, shared those concerns and ideas with SDOT staff, and reviewed the designs SDOT has proposed. Based on the information provided to me in this process, I support the recommendation made by SDOT.

To view the project plans please visit www.seattle.gov/transportation/ne75th.htm. To see what the City is doing city-wide on road safety, see www.seattle.gov/besupersafe. If you have further questions or comments about this project, SDOT project manager Jim Curtin is available at 206-684-8874 or jim.curtin@seattle.gov. You can always contact me about this or any other issue as well.

Sincerely,

Mike McGinn

Mayor of Seattle

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32 Responses to City announces plans for NE 75th Street road diet, will try to implement before school starts

  1. ian says:

    I applaud the NE 75th Street redesign but I think we are falling a bit short. I really hope that the improvements are extended east to the new 39th Ave NE Greenway and also west to Roosevelt where I’ve been told SDOT is supposed to complete (this fall) the northbound bicycle lane that is missing between NE 75th and NE 85th. It is vitally important to make complete networks of bicycle infrastructure in Seattle in order to increase the safety of vulnerable users. It seems like a shame to leave out these short sections between Roosevelt and 15th Ave NE and between 35th Ave NE and 39th Ave NE.

    Finally, I hope the city seriously thinks about a separated cycle track for NE 75th St in the near future. Wouldn’t that make it much safer for the children that will be making their way every weekday to Eckstein using whatever new infrastructure is put in place on NE 75th? I know speed is important for this project, but putting down a cycle track would make this new bicycle corridor a world class, safe for all ages infrastructure project.

    • Andres Salomon says:

      SDOT has said that they are looking at doing the corridor east of 35th next year. It’s unclear if that will mean another mile of road diet, or some kind of smaller project/connection to 39th.

      As far as not going far enough; this project is about speed *and* cost. They are not reconfiguring signals (afaik), pouring concrete, redoing anything involving drainage (all very expensive). It is simply paint and signs, which means they can do it for very low cost. While a bike lane isn’t AAA, the street calming and space for bikes is definitely an improvement. I’m personally fine with an incremental approach, especially if we can accelerate road diet implementations all over the city.

  2. Al Dimond says:

    So… the new parking lane/school bus zone in front of Eckstein is supposed to be 8 feet. Is that really going to be wide enough for a school bus, or is the bike lane going to be de-facto parking space at the beginning/end of the school day?

    At least school buses only have doors on the curb side.

  3. Jake says:

    I’m encouraged by the speed of this response! Just a few years ago, this would have been unthinkable: rechannelization was a little-used and unfamiliar tool that met with a lot of incredulity and neighbor backlash. Now we’re at the point where the city can plan and deploy this tool in just a few months, and the public support is overwhelming.

    I think cycletracks today are similar to rechannelizations were in 2009-2010: just entering the public radar, and just starting to become regular tools in SDOT’s inventory. By analogy, I don’t think it will be much longer before SDOT will get to the point of be able to whip out a new cycletrack in just a few month’s time. The future is bright!

    • Matthew says:

      I hope you’re right, but SDOT first needs to figure out some way to bring the cost down. Currently, SDOT is quoting $4-5 million per mile of cycletrack. If we can’t do it cheaper, continuing to build cycletracks makes no sense (IMO). We’d be better off taking that $4-5 million per mile and spending it at intersections, where we can have a real safety impact.

      I’m still not sure why it’s so much more expensive per mile here than in other cities, but when you consider it costs SDOT $40,000 – $80,000 to install ADA-compliant curb ramps at a single intersection, I guess these enormous numbers start to seem at least somewhat proportionate.

  4. Ballard Biker says:

    So there is not a single dimension here that meets the states design guide.

    the travel lanes are 10.5′ vs the minimum 11′ on non arterials which means busses at the stated school will be pressed into the bike lane area. The bike lane is 5′ from the curb, this is suppose to be from the road edge and should not include the gutter. the center turn lane is 9′ which means there if there is any car in that turn lane cars are going to need to encroach into the bike lane.

    A school bus is 8′ wide and if you include the west coast mirrors buses are nearly 10 ½ feet wide or the width of the travel lane. Metro busses are 105″ wide without the mirrors. I would be nice if the city would increase the travel lane size and get rid of the unusable center turn land and provide a curb barrier between the wider bike lane that can be narrowed to the point that it produces the “traffic calming” effect they desire.

  5. Tom Braun says:

    Sent to SDOT, the Mayor, and City Council members:

    My wife and I live on The 1600 block of NE 75th St. I bike to work downtown every day, and I also frequently bike east or west either to access the Greenlake neighborhood, Lake Washington, or the Burke-Gilman Trail. Although I am not against bike lanes on 75th, I do not believe they are necessary. There are easier and safer east-west bike routes, regardless of whether the City puts bike lanes on the street. Personally, I would still take other routes.

    More importantly, our neighborhood is extremely competitive for parking options due to an influx of UW students and other higher density living situations. Tensions are high amongst neighbors who live on the side streets near 75th when other people park vehicles in “their parking spots” in front of their houses. Even visitors to the homes on 75th would have to fight for these limited parking spots under Proposal 4, adding to this tension. Implementation of Proposal 4 is not worth the cost of dramatically reducing parking and increasing neighborhood tension.

    Completely eliminating parking on 75th St. also would severely inconvenience anyone who lives on the street. For example, residents of 75th St. would no longer be able to be picked up in front of their houses in a carpool situation or otherwise, because there would be no legal place for the driver to pull over. Deliveries to the homes would become much more difficult. Many of the homes have narrow driveways requiring a driver to “swing wide” to get into the driveway, and it is not clear how this would functionally work under Proposal 4. I believe Proposal 4 would actually create new dangerous situations and traffic back up due to these issues.

    If safety, speeds, and bike lanes are all high priorities for the City, what is wrong with Proposal 3 or some modified version of that proposal? It would give every benefit apparently sought by the City, plus it would not take away necessary parking and short-term stopping or negatively impact the actual residents of 75th.

    I ask that whomever is responsible for choosing Proposal 4 without real input from the actual residents it impacts reconsider this decision. Implementation of a different plan would better serve the most people and would create a safer 75th St. for all.

    • Andres Salomon says:

      Option #3 increases congestion due to people turning left; that is why it was not chosen. It was pretty clear from the RavennaBlog poll and from the open house that I went to that #4 was preferred over #3.

      “Implementation of Proposal 4 is not worth the cost of dramatically reducing parking and increasing neighborhood tension.”

      So potentially increasing tension/reducing parking is too high a price to pay to slow cars down to reduce injuries (and potentially deaths) to all road users? I think we’re going to have to disagree on that.

      • Wedgewood Resident says:

        Andres, I think everyone agrees safer streets are desirable, but you’re assuming that Proposal 4 was the only way to accomplish those goals. There were only four options presented, and the slides described three of them as problematic. Surprise! The fourth option got chosen. In fact, there are lots of potential solutions that might have accommodated residents, drivers, and cyclists better, but those didn’t get discussed.

        Proposal 4 was advanced because it was cheap and fast. There is an old saying “Better, cheaper, faster. Pick two.” 75th has been paved since the 1940s. There is no particular reason to rush this thing through, other than to slide it under the radar before the residents found out about it. I am convinced that study and deliberate thought will ultimately serve the city and the cycling community far better than cheap and fast.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        This project is not primarily about bikes, and it never was. Installing bike lanes is one good, proven and affordable way to increase road safety for everybody and reduce crossing distances and conflicts for people on foot.

        FWIW, I’m not terribly against the parking option, but it seems 75th St neighbors would rather have the turn lane. Seems reasonable. I don’t see a conspiracy here.

        And if you missed all the public meetings, press conferences and city-wide media coverage of this project, well, you really can’t blame the city for that. There was nothing “under the radar” about this project.

      • Andres Salomon says:

        All 4 were described as problematic. The 4th was presented as requiring a loss of parking. People were aware that all options had trade-offs and problems.

        There’s no conspiracy here. Heck, I was shocked that SDOT even proposed multiple options to the public! #4 is their default road diet configuration, and for good reason; it keeps traffic flowing nicely. If it were me, I would have chosen some combination of #3 and #4 (as they did with the school loading zone), but I also wouldn’t have put it up to a public vote.

      • Wedgewood Resident says:

        Andreas and Tom, let me be clear, I am not suggesting a conspiracy, I am suggesting a lack of thoughtful planning combined with political motivation. You and Tom both stated that the choice was basically between parking or the turn lane. That is a false dilemma. There are many more options besides those presented. Let me give you some examples: Twice a day, the neighborhood is choked with kids walking to and from school. How about setting aside the bike lanes and prioritizing pedestrian access by widening buffers, curb extensions, and providing crossing islands? At least in the vicinity of Eckstein. That would be truly helpful and provide a meaningful improvement. How about a hybrid of keeping most of the parking, but providing bike climbing lanes on the hills? If speed is the problem, how about adding more signals to control traffic speed where needed? How about putting the bike lanes on a nearby streets where (as I claim) they are more likely to be used anyway? How about a combination of many of those ideas? But none of those options were even on the table. Eliminating parking sounds great, as long as it is somebody else’s parking spot that gets eliminated. The reality is, lots of people need to drive, then they need to park when they get home.

        In process heavy Seattle it is sort of refreshing that something can go from public comment to final decision in three weeks. The bicycle community is a major constituency of Mayor McGinn. If he can deliver them a present before the election, he just might survive. All’s fair in politics. But let’s not confuse good politics with good governance.

      • Andres Salomon says:

        “How about setting aside the bike lanes and prioritizing pedestrian access by widening buffers, curb extensions, and providing crossing islands?”

        These options are all expensive. The point of this project was to do something cheap and effective. Otherwise, we’d be waiting another 3+ years for funds to be set aside, a massive planning effort to happen, etc. Note that the bike lanes could also be called “shoulders”, and provide extra buffer space for pedestrians if they’re underutilized by cyclists. Crossing islands are pricy, though hopefully we’ll see those sometime.

        ” How about a hybrid of keeping most of the parking, but providing bike climbing lanes on the hills? ”

        So a bike lane on only one side of the street? That reclaims 5′ of space, which isn’t enough for parking..

        ” If speed is the problem, how about adding more signals to control traffic speed where needed?”

        Signal changes are expensive. Super expensive. One signal change would probably have cost more than this entire project.

        “How about putting the bike lanes on a nearby streets where (as I claim) they are more likely to be used anyway?”

        Once again, this is not a bike project. Call them shoulders if you like, but the point is to slow cars down and provide a buffer for pedestrians. Removing the bike lanes and having parking on one side of the street combined with a middle turn lane means that cars will be moving at > 30mph right next to a narrow sidewalk. What kind of pedestrian environment is that, especially near a school?

  6. Wedgewood Resident says:

    I’m also disappointed by the chosen option. I live quite close to 75th and drive it daily. My neighbors and I were aware that SDOT was considered a road diet for 75th, but none of us recall being contracted or otherwise alerted to any public discussion.

    In general, I also question the use of most major arterials for bike lanes. For example, on 35th Ave NE, you seldom see a bike using the sharrows. But you see lots of bikes on 36th Ave NE. Which makes perfect sense. 35th is busy street and 36th is quiet. Obviously 36th is preferable for biking, so that’s what cyclists use. Similarly, cyclists seem to prefer using Dayton instead of bike lanes on Greenwood. I find it unlikely cyclists will make much use of the 75th bike lanes when there are much safer and more pleasant options available. Making the city bike-friendly requires more than just slapping some paint. There needs to be some thought involved too. If cyclists are largely avoiding many of the bike lanes, then the locations of the bike lanes should be reconsidered.

    Also worth mentioning that lots of north Seattle streets (south Seattle too) still don’t have curb, gutter, and sidewalk. These are ideal candidates for dedicated bike lanes. The city already controls the unpaved right of ways. A system of dedicated lanes could connect North Seattle Community College and the transit center at Northgate with the surrounding neighborhoods. That would be a true improvement to making Seattle bike-friendly.

    But that also would require more than just slapping down some paint.

  7. Chris says:

    I live with my family about a half-block south of 75th, and anyone looking at this blog knows that 75th is dangerous for bikers. I’ve witnessed or witnessed the aftermath of dozens of collisions of all types on this street, and I can imagine the stats are awful. The reasons seem to be two-fold: (1) vehicle speed, and (2) no clear marking or turn lanes for two lanes of traffic in each direction at rush hours.

    The current proposal being considered is an improvement over the status quo, but will have unintended and potentially serious safety impacts because it does nothing to address the vehicle speed issue, and, more importantly, would encourage inexperienced bikers to use this road under the false impression that they will be safe in these bike lanes.

    My son rode his bike to Eckstein, and my daughter will be doing so starting in the fall. I never let them ride on this road because of the high-speed traffic. They are only allowed to take side streets or the sidewalk. And in general I see very few cyclists on 75th because there are abundant side streets that offer parallel and much safer routes that are generally traffic free.

    Personally, I am a daily bike commuter and avid cyclist, and quite comfortable and confident in traffic. Even so, I too avoid riding on 75th street because of the high speed of traffic and unmarked lanes, and I would continue to avoid 75th if Proposal 4 is adopted as is because the bike lanes will not be safe.
    • It won’t slow down traffic.
    • It will encourage inexperienced cyclists onto this dangerous road because they tend to think bike lanes are safe, when in fact these ones could be quite dangerous.
    • It is very hilly. Bikes will be traveling fast where stopping times are very slow on the downhill sections, and right next to fast-moving traffic that will be trying to pass and sometimes turn in front of them.
    • A lot of cars use this road and, when trying to turn left from the center turn lane, there is often a long wait, with the drivers looking for short windows where there are gaps in traffic and they can turn. This will put inexperienced bikers directly in their turn path.
    • In general it sets up the classic “right hook” and “left cross” motorist/cycle accidents, with drivers turning across the path of the cyclists. This is always a concern, but especially so in scenarios where bikes are in a turn lane hugging the curb going fast downhill next to a similarly fast-moving lane of traffic.

    As my two cents, my fix for this would be the following:
    • Most importantly, for the downhill sections of 75th, use “sharrows” in lieu of bike lanes, and install signage to warn drivers to share the road. This will get bikers to flow with the traffic on the downhill sections rather than forcing them into dangerous parallel bike lines next to fast moving cars. It is just super dangerous to be in a bike lane in this scenario. (And personally I would ride in the car lane every time rather than put myself at risk like this.)
    • Have one lane of parking on the downhill sections of 75th (going east from 15th to 25th, and west from Eckstein to 25th). This will make the road feel somewhat narrower, which slows traffic. This is critical.
    • Have a center turn lane in key intersections only. There should be no parking in a buffer surrounding these intersections.
    • Put bumps in the bike lane lines next to traffic, or at a minimum in the sections near the intersections. Cars routinely move into the bike lanes way too early as they prepare to turn right, and that can create dangerous scenarios.

    Basically, this is just Proposal 4, but with turn lanes at the intersections only, and with parking on the downhill side of the street. Think it would be a real improvement.

    Anyway, glad that something is being done to address the safety concerns for cyclists in this corridor, but I just think we can do a little better with these adjustments.

    • Al Dimond says:

      Studies of similar road channelization projects show that they do indeed tend to reduce speeding.

      As for whether a bike lane is desirable in the downhill direction… I live near the equally steep arterial portion of Fremont Ave in upper Fremont, which has a bike lane in both directions. I almost always move out to the general purpose lane going downhill there. Between the parking, the frequent driveways, the street parking, and the fact that it’s easy for me to keep up with traffic because of the frequent stoplights (when I drive down that hill I rarely exceed 20 or 25 MPH — there’s no point building up much speed, though some people certainly seem to enjoy it), it’s definitely the right choice for me. On the other hand, when I’m out on the eastside going east toward the Sammamish River Trail on NE 124th St, I sometimes stay in the bike lane for the descent — the general speed of traffic is faster than I care to descend in heavy traffic (often 40 MPH and over) and there’s a long stretch with no driveways and no parking.

      75th Street is somewhere between these two situations. I’d probably descend in-lane (as I do on 65th when I ride there), but some people don’t want to descend at 30 MPH — if they’re going the speed of traffic or faster it’s problematic for them to be off to the right, but not if they’re going slower and there aren’t any parked cars.

      The big problem, anyway, isn’t with people that merge too early into the bike lane to make right turns, it’s with people that merge too late, or cut across without looking. There’s a point at which a driver should merge, which is marked by the bike lane turning dotted — hopefully that’s clear, though I wouldn’t put anything past people around here.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Chris, your solution is interesting. I might suggest putting the parking on the side with the climbing lane, though, since the door zone isn’t a huge deal when you’re slogging up a hill, but it’s deadly going downhill.

      I would also suggest that painted bike lanes are safer and more comfortable when there is no parking, and this is backed up by data: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2012/10/dedicated-bike-lanes-can-cut-cycling-injuries-half/3654/

      But I know from experience that I don’t really mind parking on the uphill side for the reasons I listed above. But downhill, the door zone bike lanes are unacceptable (Pine St or 12th Ave downhill on Capitol Hill, Fremont Ave as Al mentioned, and on and on…)

      I’m sure this 75th option will slow vehicles and make it somewhat easier to cross the street on foot. But so would your option. And there’s probably an even better option out there, but this is a huge improvement that is low-budget and can be installed immediately. So I say: Thumbs up.

      • Ballard Biker says:

        It is an important thing when reading and citing published scholarly articles to look at the responses after the work is published.

        This study only really looked at the sections between intersections and found anomalous results which bicycle-only paths in parks to be 17.6 times as dangerous as bicycle-only paths in (or adjacent to) streets.

        The dangers are not mid block, nor do the types of cycle track really apply to small blocks like we have here.

        http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2013/02/13/injuryprev-2012-040561/reply

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  9. Jo says:

    The SDOT crew has been outside my house painting lines and funneling traffic according to the new channelization. And guess what? There has already been an accident (McSchwinncident?). The two ladies involved pulled over across the new bike lane and stopped between the parked cars on 17th Avenue NE to argue about “Why did you just stop like that?” and then exchange insurance info. An SDOT employee carrying cones looked at me, shook his head and said, “Not my fault people can’t drive”.

    Riders in the 60-inch bike lanes (I measured) are going to have traffic very close to them on their left. Let’s hope future fender-benders don’t spill over into that little space. I posted a photo of the ladies exchanging info and the SDOT man carrying cones here, if I can post links: http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=10200880906678248&set=a.4393360985483.165986.1032153387&type=1&theater

  10. Anne says:

    This is a good discussion with thoughtful insight about the planned improvements. I agree that improvements need to be made to 75th. And as Tom points out, paint is the cheapest and fastest solution *for now*. It may not be a perfect solution, but is better than nothing.

    I agree that even with the improvements, 75th will remain an unpleasant bike route. The removal of parking and addition of a turn lane will help automobile traffic flow. But I agree that the bike infrastructure will probably not get much use. The route is hilly and most importantly, it doesn’t really go anywhere a person on a bike needs to go. There are far better routes for bikes just a few blocks off 75th. 75th is basically a quick and direct route to and from I-5. I drive on 75th when I need to get to the freeway, but I don’t ride my bike on it. I prefer to ride on 65th or the surrounding side streets. That said, I still agree with the plan. Painted bike lanes raise awareness about bikes in the road, even if they aren’t used much.

    I do want to add that the discussion about parking spots and the implied “rights” of residents to free parking, including a specific parking spot in front of their house, is timely. Alan Durning at Sightline is doing a thoughtful and well researched series about parking right now — the series includes posts about property laws, building codes and attitudes about resident’s supposed “rights” to free parking spaces. This post in particular is pure gold: http://bit.ly/13UAFaq

    Bottom line, you do not own the parking space in front of your house. If it’s a legal spot, anyone can park there. Also the city has the right to remove that space if it determines there is a better use for it!

    The highest and best use for roads (city owned property) is for transportation, specifically to *move* cars, buses and bikes. Roads are not and never were intended to be used as free storage for your personal automobile. That’s why the city building code requires garages and off street parking in most cases!

    For more, take a look at the entire Parking? Lots! series — http://bit.ly/13Uutz6

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Agree with everything you said except: “The highest and best use for roads (city owned property) is for transportation, specifically to *move* cars, buses and bikes.”

      Sometimes, play is the highest and best use :-) http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2013/08/if-you-put-cars-first-kids-come-last/6470/

    • Wedgewood Resident says:

      Hi Anne, I enjoyed your post. If I may expand on the parking issue just a bit. Indeed public right-of-ways are not public parking lots. However, the reality is that for the vast majority of people it is necessary to own a car. Eliminating parking does not eliminate the need for parking. Tom is still going to park his car, it just won’t be near his house. Mayor McGinn (and Mayor Nickles before him) has relaxed and in some cases even eliminated requirements that multi-family developments provide parking for their residents. We’ve seen the results of this policy in numerous places like Ballard and Fremont where parked cars associated with a new development overwhelm the neighborhood.

      I believe the focus should be on eliminating the need for cars, then the parking issues sort themselves out. Eliminating parking without eliminating the need for parking simply isn’t a productive approach.

      • Anne says:

        I guess it’s a chicken and an egg thing, what comes first, the car or the parking? I’m not refuting the need to own a car, I’m just raising the issue about parking them. And I’m not talking about new development or other neighborhoods, I’m talking about NE 75th.

        What’s the root of the issue/opposition to the changes on 75th? Is it traffic speeds? Safety? The addition of bike lanes? Who would argue against safer streets? The root of issue seems to be parking. Most arguments/oppositions I’ve read center around the removal of parking. (Removal of parking is also at the center of the concerns surrounding the proposed changes to 65th)

        Why do people get so angry when free parking is removed? The street doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to the city. And the city has determined that the best use for the land on 75th is to improve the safety of the street. The city can’t make the roads any wider, they have to use the space more efficiently. And that means removing parking.

        NE Seattle, including NE 75th, was developed between the 1920s and 60s when a garage and/or off street parking space was required by city code. Those houses on 75th *have* off street parking. The problem is most people don’t *use* their off street parking spaces. They park in the street and store *stuff* in their garages. I’ll point to another Sightline post about this issue: http://bit.ly/14LeseY

        What would happen if we had to pay the real cost for parking (or roads for that matter)? If all on street parking in Seattle was permitted and residents had to pay to park on the street (like they do in many major cities in the US). I’d bet people would either make some changes — clean out their garages and park in their designated spots, find other ways to get around besides using personal automobiles — or pay up!

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        Surveys also showed extremely (like, sometimes only 1 car) low usage of the parking on the street, which was a big factor in deciding not to include a parking lane. After all, an empty parking lane tends to become a de facto travel lane, which is what the city is trying to avoid.

        For the data, see this presentation, slide 6 (accompanying photo also illustrates the point): http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/docs/NE75thStreetJuly25.pdf

        I’m sure this is a pain in the ass for those few people who did use the parking there. And the neighborhood totally owes them a thank you for changing their parking habits (maybe someone could bake them muffins?).

        But it’s hard to argue that an entire lane should be dedicated to what is clearly not a high-demand street use for the neighborhood when that space can be put to use increasing safety and making it easier for traffic to turn and keep flowing.

  11. S Won says:

    I feel terrible for those that lost their parking on 75th. Trying to get out of those driveways will make for dangerous conditions. Not to mention it will negatively impacts their home value. While it doesn’t affect me, I’d vote against this one. I can tell you that those who voted for this do not live on 75th. It’s not eminent domain, per se, but it sure feels like it. Just not right. – S Won

  12. Theresa says:

    I travel 75th St five days a week. It is a dangerous street. People drive fast, there is confusion about the number of lanes, and turns create a huge back-up. I think it is great that they are trying to make the street safer. I support being clear about the number of lanes on the road, but putting bike lanes on that street is crazy! It is totally unsafe. Not enough room for 3 lanes of traffic and 2 bike lanes. I agree with other posters who recommended side streets for bikes. Also, I know that “legally” people don’t own the spaces in front of their house, but let’s be real. People need somewhere to park. I think it is pretty short-sighted of people to say that folks can park elsewhere. I disagree that it is in the good of the whole to take away the parking space and I think it is in the disadvantage of the whole to put bike lanes on a road that is not safe for bikes.

  13. Doug Bostrom says:

    Drove this for the first time this morning. Suddenly people are going the speed limit and the inappropriately alpha can no longer go whisking along the curb so as to maintain their standard of running at 10mph illegal. As well, the issue of dealing with turning traffic has been vanished.

    Hooray.

    As to the parking, it was mostly useful as a means to force people to use their automobiles.

    Presumably we can eventually cease the ritual wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments after a few more conversions like this one.

    • Theresa says:

      Doug, your experience is a little different than mine. Even though there is no parking, people are still pulling up and parking/idling on the north side of the street in front of Eckstein. They are just doing it in the middle of the bike lane and overlapping into the car lane. I don’t think that they really thought through how the road is actually used.

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