Seattle’s baffling short-term bike plan cuts safety, pretends downtown doesn’t exist


In five years, the city's network of all ages and abilities bike routes will still be disconnected according to the latest update

In five years, the city’s network of all ages and abilities bike routes will still be disconnected according to the latest update

With the 2nd Ave protected bike lane pilot demonstrating Seattle’s vision for more ambitious, safe and comfortable bike routes downtown and beyond, Seattle voters approved an unprecedented transportation levy by a big margin. Mayor Ed Murray, his transportation advisors and the staff at the Seattle Department of Transportation laid out a bold vision, and the people said, “Hell yes.”

So with all this momentum and a fresh voter mandate to make bold safety and bike network improvements in hand, the city’s newest annual update of the short term bike plan (AKA the Bicycle Master Plan Implementation Plan, or the Bike Plan Plan) is baffling.

The five-year total for protected bike lanes has been cut from 36 miles to 25 miles compared to last year’s version, and the total for neighborhood greenways has been cut from 52 miles to 32 miles.

These are vital public safety projects designed to prevent serious injuries and deaths on our streets, yet the city plans to cut one in three projects from the five-year work plan. If the city hasn’t abandoned its Vision Zero goal — which calls for a specific focus on biking and walking safety — then it has at least made it a much lower priority.

“Through smarter street design, targeted enforcement, and education, we will make our streets even safer for people of all ages and abilities, especially pedestrians and people on bikes, as they’re the most vulnerable to death and injury on our streets,” Mayor Ed Murray wrote in his introduction to the city’s 2015 Vision Zero Plan.

And the city’s improvements are working. If it hadn’t been for the Ride the Ducks tragedy, 2015 would have been the city’s safest year in generations. This is no time to slow down on our safe streets work. Seattle is among the only major US cities with Vision Zero in sight. We have a moral obligation to keep working as hard as we can to get there.

That’s why biking and safe streets advocates in neighborhoods across the city were devastated to see the newest short-term bike plan (PDF). In many neighborhoods, the hard work to organize and push for safety improvements and a connected bike network have literally been wiped from the map.

“We didn’t stand out on 35th Street waving Move Seattle signs for nothing,” said Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board member and West Seattle bike advocate Don Brubeck in a recent Board meeting. Projects long in the works in West Seattle have either been significantly delayed (like the 34th Ave SW neighborhood Greenway, pushed back to 2019) or wiped away completely (like protected bike lanes on Admiral Way).

But as bad as the changes are for West Seattle, Rainier Valley may be the most neglected part of the city. Despite a mention in the plan about the importance of the city’s Race and Social Justice Initiative and equitable distribution of our city’s safety investments, some of our city’s most diverse neighborhoods are set to see the biggest delays and cuts.

rainiervalley19And the biggest pieces missing from the previous Rainier Valley plan are still missing from the update: A direct connection to downtown and safe bike access to Rainier Ave and/or MLK. So five years from now, the city still plans for Rainier Valley’s most direct, flat and dangerous streets to remain that way, and for the neighborhood bike routes to remain cut off from the employment and cultural opportunities in the center city.

Instead, the (delayed) projects Rainier Valley would get are mostly routes that climb up Beacon Hill or up to Leschi. These aren’t all bad ideas, but they aren’t top neighborhood priorities either.

This is not acceptable, it’s not just, and it’s not what Seattle voted for when they passed this levy.

The plan pretends downtown doesn’t exist … on purpose?

The core of the bike plans’ problems stem from the core of the city: Downtown. SDOT started outreach for the Center City Bike Network, which already has significant grant funding, a year ago. This plan was supposed to designate a connected network of protected bike lanes downtown and begin design work so a functional grid would be in place in 2016.

But after an extremely positive and well-attended open house in the summer of 2015, the city mysteriously put the bike network plan on hold citing a desire to complete a different plan first: The Center City Mobility Plan. We have a Bicycle Master Plan, a Pedestrian Master Plan, a Transit Master Plan, a Vision Zero Plan, and a Freight Master Plan is in the works. We even have a Move Seattle Plan that integrates all these other plans. But apparently we need yet another plan before any downtown bike planning can happen.

So this is where the notorious Seattle Process makes a dimensional shift into a whole new plane of ridiculousness: Because of the Center City Mobility Plan’s arbitrary hold on the Center City Bike Network, SDOT staff had to create the latest short-term bike plan pretending that downtown Seattle does not exist.

Did your head just explode? Mine did. Here’s the Bike Plan Plan’s way of putting it:

Another change since 2015 was the initiation of the Center City Mobility Plan, which will establish a long-term transportation vision, determine the function of each downtown street, and create
an implementation plan. Because of this new planning effort, most downtown bicycle network  recommendations were not included in this
update to the BMP implementation plan. Thus, a comparison of the 2015-2019 and 2016-2020 BMP Implementation Plan bicycle facility project lists will understandably reflect these major changes. Likewise, next year’s Implementation Plan project list may be updated to reflect the downtown bicycle facility recommendations, while other projects may be removed to ensure funding matches implementation.

This is not how transportation planning is supposed to work. Planning a bike network that pretends the city’s largest employment and cultural center — an area densely packed with homes, transit, social services, restaurants and retail — does not exist is among the most ridiculous tasks any transportation staff has ever been asked to complete.

Downtown absolutely exists. I’ve been there. And the streets are dangerous and in desperate need of a connected bike network.

End this nonsense, Mayor Murray. Free the downtown bike plan.

And the problems grow from downtown. Since connectivity is an important factor in project selection, if downtown bike lanes don’t exist, then vital neighborhood connections to those downtown bike lanes don’t rise to the top of the list. It’s a cascading disaster of planning, which is why I suggested on Twitter that the city burn it and try again. Throw this update out the window and follow last year’s update until an actually useful update can be created. And restore the Center City Bike Network right away so we can get some significant connections completed in 2016 as was planned.

The reason for the Center City Mobility Plan (which doesn’t even have a website yet) is that we need to know where buses will run when they are kicked out of the transit tunnel in a couple years to increase light rail frequency. But this is not a sufficient excuse for delaying vital bike safety improvements downtown that we need today. SDOT and city leaders consistently say that safety is their top priority. Well, prove it.

A more reasonable policy would be to instruct bike lane project managers to properly asses transit needs in the bike lane designs as I’m sure they were going to do, anyway. And if there is any question, then the city can construct the bike lane out of paint and plastic posts so it can be easily moved if needed in a few years.

‘Don’t fuck it up’

Now is the time to build the downtown bike network and make bold safety improvements in our neighborhoods that need them most. We need our leaders to step up and do what they promised the people who voted for them and their transportation vision. The people have spoken, the funding has been secured and SDOT staff have jumped through every possible hoop by developing many plans and demonstrating the potential with a real life bike lane pilot on 2nd Ave.

Seattle, you’re fresh out of excuses to delay this any further. It’s time to act.

Next year is a mayoral election. Does the mayor really want to delay these projects until he’s running a campaign? And if these projects get delayed even further than that, all the people who worked their asses off to help pass Move Seattle aren’t going to show up to support leaders who dropped the ball.

There has never been a better time to build a connected network of downtown bike lanes than this moment right now. As Mayor Murray himself told his SDOT Director during a recent talk with Janette Sadik-Khan: “Don’t fuck it up.”

Below are the maps outlining the planned improvements over the next five years. You can see the full plan in this PDF. Note that possible bike improvements as part of planned multimodal corridor and transit projects (like Eastlake Ave) are not included in these plans, so it’s not a fully complete look.

2016BMPImpPlanFinal16 2016BMPImpPlanFinal17 2016BMPImpPlanFinal18 2016BMPImpPlanFinal19 2016BMPImpPlanFinal20

About Tom Fucoloro

Founder and Editor of Seattle Bike Blog.
This entry was posted in news and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

102 Responses to Seattle’s baffling short-term bike plan cuts safety, pretends downtown doesn’t exist

  1. Andres Salomon says:

    Not a single new greenway in 5 years in NE Seattle. Not one.

    Also, look at that PBL on 35th Ave NE. It literally connects to no other AAA infrastructure. It terminates just a few blocks south of an existing neighborhood greenway, but couldn’t be bothered to actually connect. This is not how you build a bicycle network, with disconnected fragments everywhere.

    I wonder who the new Mayor will be?

    • Matt White says:

      They haven’t built a greenway in NE Seattle yet, why would they start now?

      • Andres Salomon says:

        Oh c’mon, the 39th Ave Greenway is a good start. And maybe in 20 years, they’ll finally finish it…

      • Matt White says:

        Does it have any traffic diversion yet? The last time I rode it, it was apparent that local motorists had discovered the route with stop sign priority and were taking advantage. Same for the one in the U District.

      • Andres Salomon says:

        Nope, and the speed humps were still on order the last time I checked. Like I said, it’s a good start..

      • Al Dimond says:

        I use 39th all the time and haven’t really noticed a problem. It’s hard for me to imagine a scenario where drivers wouldn’t prefer 35th or 40th for going any more than a couple blocks. The Ballard greenways, though, could really use more diversion.

        As someone that routinely runs and rides after dark on greenways, I could do without speed humps.

      • Andres Salomon says:

        Al, here you go. Even if you haven’t noticed problems, some other people have..

  2. MB says:

    Who at the city can we hold responsible for this? After hearing Mayor Murray speak at Janete Sadik-Khan, this is exactly the opposite direction I expected the city to go in.

    Part of me doesn’t wonder if it has anything to do with Nicole Freedman, who during Pronto hearings, repeatedly said things to effect of Seattle having already adequate infrastructure in place.

    Absolutely baffling to see these changes to the plans.

    • Adam says:

      This plan is a big load of crap. When Murray first took office I was optimistic because he was saying the right things, but when it comes down to actually getting stuff done he tends to go AWOL. Lots of talk, very little action. So I had very little faith in what he said when talking with JSK.

      If he continues going down this path, come November next year I expect we’ll be looking at yet another one-term mayor.

      Murray, you gave me hope but have let me down. I gave my time to you, and you wasted it. This is all so much BS.

      • Eli says:

        Yeah. When Mayor Murray first took office and built the downtown PBL in 90 days, I was so impressed. I almost regretted voting for McGinn — it felt that Mayor Murray actually was the professional who could actually execute.

        But the two years since have been a waiting period of self-congratulatory rhetoric about our so-called progressive values, without a scant bit of action to bring those values to life.

        Regarding the JSK event, this is a great follow-up article about Murray’s rhetoric vs. Murray’s (current) reality:

  3. Ed says:

    I could not find any information about who wrote the implementation plan or a contact at SDOT to talk about it. The pdf and the website for the BMP both don’t have contact info that I could see. Do you know?

  4. Aaron says:

    Who can we call, email, and hold responsible for this travesty?

  5. Erik says:

    I just got a job downtown and was very much looking forward to the new protected bike lanes. I also want to know who I can yell at … strongly express my opinions to about this.

  6. Matt says:

    Emotions aside, we cannot fold our hands for 20+ years while we wait for ST3 to roll-out. If anything, I thought the one benefit that would come from the horrendous ST3 timeline would be that the city would expedite cheaper interim solutions to ease the flow of traffic. The cheapest way to do that is through improving and expanding our bike infrastructure. They can build all the “bike infrastructure islands” that they want, but none of it will have any impact until the downtown bike lanes are constructed.

  7. Eli says:

    If anyone from Mayor Murray’s office is reading —

    After this bait-and-switch on Move Seattle, I will be proudly and vocally voting “NO” on any additional property tax or initiative the Mayor is pursuing. It’ll deeply pain me to vote ‘NO’ on affordable housing, but I’ll gladly change my tune once there’s evidence that we can trust the city with our money.

    But I can’t say I’m particularly hopeful.

    Fooled me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you.

    • Conrad says:

      I am right there with you. I voted against the last transportation levy too. We have that giant tunnel borer stuck in the ground, but we can’t seem to build adequate facilities for bikes or buses. The first consideration for anything that is built, is that it does not impede motorists. It is not appreciably easier to ride a bike now than it was 10 years ago, and a lot of money has been spent!

  8. Erik says:

    Any surprise that Mayor Murray is all talk and little action?

  9. Jeremy says:

    What happened to 130th? Last year it showed protected bike lanes between Aurora and I5. Now they are totally gone from anywhere. First sound transit decides not to build a station on 130th because too many people would use it. Now the bike lanes there disappear. (This seems like a no brainer for a 4-3 conversion as it is constantly slowed by turning traffic and has a high school sitting in the middle.) It seems the city is quick to spend levy money on signal timing downtown (which slows peds and bikes), but slow to do things that would really help everyone.

    • Northender says:

      Um, not that many people would use 130th who won’t use Northgate or 145th, which taxpayers were already promised. 130th will be nice to have if the city follows through and creates an urban village there. But… not a whole lot going on at that overpass.

      • Jeremy says:

        There is currently a protected lane between Greenwood and linden on 130th and a lane on 125th on the other side of the freeway. Adding the middle segment would complete the fragments, connecting the bitter lake and lake city urban villages. It would also pass right in front of Ingraham high school. And as a bonus, it would likely improve general traffic flow on 130th.

      • Jeremy says:

        And regarding the link station, the initial study showed that a 130th station would attract more riders that 145th.

  10. Ellis says:

    The voices here that were concerned about Murray’s previous history of saying things just to be elected and Move Seattle’s lack of actual details were drowned out by the masses. The posts are still there if you want to go back and read them. But trust the elected officials that they will fill in the details later on ST3…

  11. Steve says:

    So we can’t build downtown until they figure out the tunnel situation in 2020 when Move Seattle is half way over. What the fuck are they spending the money on? Where is the city council oversight to make sure projects happen. Every single council memeber Cascade endorsed except one won their election.

    Considering the fact that ST3 looks more likely to fail by the day for a ton of other reasons, I guess we’ll just have to wait longer to decide what to build.

    This is it, Murray lost my vote. I don’t care if he revises this plan all the way back to the one from last year. Plans won’t cut it, build what you said you would last year when you wanted our money before Nov 2017 or I’m looking forward to your challenger.

  12. Josh says:

    At this rate, with the dramatic cutback in capital commitments, assuming other plans are similarly slashed, the city might end up with enough levy money to cover Seattle’s obligation for Bertha overruns…

  13. Doug says:

    Can’t say I’m surprised. After 8 years of riding in Seattle, it’s pretty clear to me that the city government is interested in doing the easy bike infrastructure fixes. The hard stuff festers year after year after year.

    I think the problem is most voters hate cyclists, bike lanes, and anything else that might delay them even a few minutes. The fact that most people are willing to let people die and be maimed — even children — than accept a road diet and the possible associated driving delays is indicative of the false progressivism of many city residents.

    • William says:

      I do not think it fair to blame motorists. Most of Seattle voted for the Cascade Bicycle Club’s slate of city council candidates. SDOT is also a total joke when it comes to helping automobiles move. Hardly any of the lights in Seattle are properly synchronized – synchronized lights encourage traffic to drive the speed limit since that is when the lights change. There are very few lights that use smart technology so that the light cycles adapt to accommodate the traffic that is actually waiting – such lights are standard in many areas. Some frustrated drivers may blame bike infrastructure, slow buses and anything else in their way, but we know from examples like NE 75th St that road diets and bike lanes when combined with properly synchronized lights can actually help move all traffic more effectively

      • kptrease says:

        Why would you assume Cascade’s recommendations had anything to do with friendliness to bike projects? They refused to say why they were endorsing anybody, and didn’t endorse some obvious pro-bike people (or even give them mention).

      • William says:

        Not being part of the Cascade Bicycle Club, I cannot be sure what motivated their endorsements but one would hope it had something to do a judgement of with whether they were friendly to bikes and had the political skills to deliver. Who were the pro-bike people they didn’t endorse?

        It was quite noticeable that the 7 council members who followed the the CBC’s request to takeover Pronto where the 7 they endorsed. We will see whether the CBC raises a stink about the implementation of the bicycle master plan.

      • Doug says:

        I was referencing the massive backlash that occurs with every proposed road diet. We all know they’re good for everyone, but many font and refuse to change opinion.

        This backlash is present with my coworkers, Reddit, friends, family, nextdoor, etc. it’s omnipresent.

  14. Bryan Paetsch says:

    Is there enough support for a recall?
    We should not wait until the next election and hope the next person will deliver what we agreed to pay for.

    • Al Dimond says:

      I don’t know recall laws, but you’d at the very least need half the voters, plus probably some institutional support. You’re not going to get half the voters engaged with cyclists’ outrage.

    • Josh says:

      Washington recall laws are very difficult. Most attempts at recall never survive long enough to start signature gathering, let alone actually make it onto the ballot.

      I sincerely doubt anything the Mayor has done would meet the legal requirements to even start a recall petition.

  15. Southeasterner says:

    I was in the minority on this blog when I said I was voting against MOVE Seattle but I never thought I would be redeemed this quickly.

    My hesitation at the time was the city was putting in sub-standard bike infrastructure and budgeting $0 for ongoing bike facility maintenance and that they would end up using all the money on political/local battles to get a few of the proposed facilities through the Seattle process…with costs far exceeding the estimated amounts budgeted in the plan.

    In this case it sucks to be right and there is no joy in “I told you so” but you live in Seattle long enough and you quickly lose faith in the promises of our elected officials and the absolute lack of accountability.

  16. William says:

    One can blame Ed Murray who seems embarrassingly out of his depth now that he has to run something rather than just politic in the state legislature. However, even when he and his administration have gone, we will still be left with the rank and file employees in SDOT who seem totally clueless as far as bicycles are concerned.

    • Andres Salomon says:

      The Mayor picks the director of SDOT (Peter Hahn was kicked out when Murray took office, who replaced Hahn with Kubly). The SDOT director has the ability to hire/fire large amounts of staff..

      • William says:

        Kubly is a disaster and unqualified but Peter Hahn’s legacy when it comes to bikes are the thousands upon thousands of fading sharrows many of which were painted directly over bike-wrecking pot holes.

        I would be really surprised if it was that easy to fire large numbers of long-standing mid-level employees within SDOT.

      • Becky says:

        Many/most of the “rank-and-file” are union and cannot just be fired on the whims of a new director. There are a number of people who are managers and strategic advisors (and thereby not represented by the union) but still they don’t just get fired – sometimes reassigned or people choose to leave – but not fired in droves. And if they were to be fired in droves, I’m not sure replacements would necessarily get different results.

      • William says:

        So the process of improving the quality of SDOT will be slow and hard work but it needs to be done before we will get a coherent bicycle plan let alone its implementation. The rank and file employees of SDOT outlast any administration and they are the ones you have to deal with when you want anything done

        Really wish the average Seattleite would have listen to the sensible liberal old ladies in the League of Women voters who pointed out the fallacy of committing nearly $1B to the Move Seattle Levy in the absence of good plans. If the citizens do not demand better we will not get it.

      • Al Dimond says:

        Our problem here isn’t Move Seattle, Murray, or even Kubly. We’re not failing in new ways, we’re failing in the same old ways we’ve failed for decades: making abstract promises, then backing off in the face of challenges and opposition.

        We don’t need to fire a bunch of engineers that were hired to do jobs. We do need elected officials and politically-appointed bureaucrats to set the direction for these projects and stop settling for the status quo, which still means vocal pressure at every turn. As I understand it, that’s still our primary tool — our ideas are much better represented among elected officials and politically-appointed bureaucrats than among the general population!

      • William says:

        I do not think you can blame the failures entirely on the elected officials although they can certainly share the blame
        It is not elected officials who have declared that the intersection of Roosevelt Ave and NE 75th St is too complicated to address in the NE Banner Way revamp.
        It is not the elected officials who have approached bike infrastructure as if they are learning from scratch rather than looking to Portland, Vancouver and other cities to identify and implement best practices.
        In a few instances aggrieved parties will sue to stop/delay things but in most cases the delays arise because the the folks doing the work do not have the abilities to parse input efficiently without losing sight of the ultimate goals.

      • Nathanael says:

        Oh, yes, the SDOT director can fire bad apples even if they’re unionized. It’s just a matter of having a boss who makes firings a priority. Give the staff specific orders in writing (such as, in more detail, “implement THIS bike plan”), document everything in writing, and if they don’t do their job, you fire them for cause for insubordination.

    • Johann says:

      You shouldn’t assume so much. In my experiences, staff make plans. Mayors make them change plans.

      If its not a budget reason, pretty obvious that it’s political.

  17. Central Districtite says:

    Mass die in at City Hall?

    • Frank says:

      Something dramatic needs to be done. A bicyclist dies, Murray is sad and promises to do better, then time passes and it’s back to the status quo. He just doesn’t seem to care about bikes. At all.

      • Central Districtite says:

        I don’t care about bikes either. I care about people who ride bikes. Semantics yes, but framing is important. Anyway, sounds like we are in agreement.

  18. kptrease says:

    I remember when the anti-Move Seattle crowd talked about how it was an issue that SDOT wouldn’t publish a list of specific projects, and we all mocked that point of view. I’m a little embarrassed now.

  19. Morgan Wick says:

    Mr. Murray, tear down this (planning) wall!

  20. Ballard Resident says:

    I’m voting NO on any levey backed by Murray. Can’t trust a word he says.

  21. AW says:

    Is there any information on why the plans changed ? Were the old plans just not possible and were proposed only to get Move Seattle approved ? Was there an overall change in how the money is allocated ? Was it reallocated to other non bike areas ? Was it reallocated to Pronto ? Is this just a political thing to spank bicycle users for being against Pronto bailout or something else ?

    It would be really nice if there were someone in the city government who could champion bicycles users, perhaps something like Director of Bicycle Infrastructure and Mobility with its own budget and control to set its own priorities. Is there some kind of initiative process to move that forward ?

  22. asdf2 says:

    I thought the 2nd Ave. bike path was supposed to be extended to Denny later this year. Are you really saying that this is not happening?

  23. Doug MacDonald says:

    Well-taken. And if you look with as close scrutiny at just the pedestrian side of things, it’s as bad or even worse. My approach to the Pedestrian Master Plan Update is shaping up as “Reject Fantasy, Confront Reality.” SDOT has to start getting the message loud and clear – and acknowledging and acting on it
    There is more to say about all this. (I’ve submitted page after page of hard facts to SDOT planners already). Much of this has to do with the woeful and visibly deteriorating condition of existing pedestrian infrastructure proven by SDOT’s own numbers. But here’s the quick call-out from some material I’ve started to circulate on the safety numbers and the harsh light in which Vision Zero rhetoric has to be considered.

    First, there is no question but that measures of pedestrian fatalities as a function of population show Seattle in a very good light — best in the nation maybe, or second best, depending on what source is consulted (based on 2013 or earlier data; however, Seattle’s performance on this metric deteriorated markedly in 2014).

    Yet the data gives no basis for comfort in the trends concerning pedestrian injury in Seattle. Grouped in four-year bands, very roughly overlapping the period since development on the 2009 Plan, the pedestrian safety trend is negative.

    Year Serious Injury Collisions Fatal Collisions Serious Injury plus Fatal Collisions
    2008 43 9 52
    2009 45 11 56
    2010 42 6 48
    2011 36 2 38
    4-year total 2008-2011 166 28
    2012 44 8 52
    2013 49 8 57
    2014 52 6 58
    2015 45 7 52
    4-year total 2012 – 2015 190 29 219

    Isolating selective details, in 2013 and 2014 taken together, more than a third (14 of 39) of the traffic fatalities in Seattle were sustained by pedestrians In 2014 as contrasted to 2013, the rate of pedestrian collisions per 100,000 inhabitants shot up; total pedestrian collisions and the subtotal of fatal and serious injury pedestrian collisions both increased significantly. Improved analysis of pedestrian safety experience must be called for in the Plan Update and undertaken especially in view of the City’s pronouncements in favor of “Vision Zero.”

  24. Pennie says:

    I wonder if the new districting of city council has anything to do with this? Less overall oversight?

  25. Mrtn says:

    I’m curious to see if Murray will be at the Cascade Bike Club fundraiser breakfast in a week… he was a keynote speaker last year.

  26. BikeRainierValley says:

    Commenters may be jumping the shark a teensie bit. SDOT is creating a ton of bike infrastructure all over the city this year (2nd Ave, Phinney, Westlake, Brooklyn, Broadway, Jefferson Park, etc, etc). So no reason to burn the Mayor in effigy (yet).

    More troubling for me is the poor choice of projects, at least in Rainier Valley. Why is there no plan to create access b/w RV and downtown? Why do two eminent mega projects in Rainier Valley (Accessible Mt Baker and the Rainier /I-90 Light Rail station) have zero planned infrastructure for bikes? Who the hell needs another Greenway to Lake Washington?

    Move Seattle generates huge bike infrastructure budgets for 10 years. The concern isn’t that SDOT won’t build bike lanes, they’ll build tons. The concern is that they’ll squander the opportunity, building sub-optimal routes, never asking the people who actually ride what is needed (or asking, hearing the answer, then building something else.)

    Seattle could revolutionize its infrastructure. Or it could waste the opportunity.

    • Andres Salomon says:

      We’re going to have to disagree on “a ton”. Many of the projects that are getting done this year were supposed to have already been done. Westlake gets a pass (because of the lawsuit), but Roosevelt was delayed and doesn’t include a road diet. Banner Way was supposed to be done in 2014! There was supposed to be multiple downtown routes this year, not just 1 block of 2nd Ave. Dearborn was supposed to be done last year. N 34th was supposed to be done last year.

      I’m not sure what you mean with Brooklyn and Broadway. I’m unaware of any new stuff going on there.. Broadway was done in 2014, with the northern end closed after it had been opened (

      • Andres Salomon says:

        Banner Way is actually a perfect example of the ridiculousness with this whole situation. I promised to write an article about it, but a quick summary – aside from being delayed multiple years, it won’t connect with the existing road diet on NE 75th. The most dangerous section of NE 75th/Banner Way is where it’s 5 lanes, and SDOT isn’t looking at fixing it. Bike lanes on the road diet are under consideration, but they won’t connect to NE 75th bike lanes.

        We have this wonderful connected grid in the Bicycle Master Plan, but instead of actually connecting things, SDOT is just building random segments. By 2021 (according to this plan), there still won’t be an AAA route for me to get downtown from my house.
        By then, we’ll probably create a brand new Bike Master Plan, after having completed 1/10th of the things in the current BMP map.

      • DrewJ says:

        Also, Admiral Way was supposed to be done last year. Still delayed. And the 5th Avenue project is just a contraflow bus lane installed because of the Yesler Bridge project (also delayed).

    • Tim F says:

      I saw an Accessible Mount Baker drawing from a Transit Master Plan document dated Febuary 2016 that had protected bike lanes all over it. Did all that evaporate in just a few months or was it never real to begin with?

  27. Central Districtite says:

    How many more people have to die before the mayor stops delaying bike safety projects ?

    • Nathanael says:

      “How many more people have to die before the mayor stops delaying bike safety projects ?”

      My immediate thought was “one, the mayor”. Until it affects him personally…

  28. jonathan Mark says:

    Still excited about Mayor Murray’s rainbow crosswalks?

  29. Sean R-M says:

    I’m most disappointed in removal of most of the MLK PBL. It just seems like such a no brainer. The street has tons of wasted space by having too wide lanes and interior bike infrastructure. I think that we need to force the city to remove the bike lanes from the map which don’t offer any real separation from traffic. I think the litmus test should be if a bike lane is enforceable or not. Would someone get a ticket for parking in a bike lane? Right now it depends on which bike lane that person is parking in and the bike lanes in the CD are such a joke that no one would ever be ticketed for blocking them. The other test is if a construction project needs to use a road with a bike lane do they need to mitigate that, right now it depends on which bike lane they are going to block, I never see “bikes merge with traffic” signs in my neighborhood because no one knows that it is a bike lane, it appears to be a wide parking lane, all while the city gets to count the bike lane on its official map and on its metrics. The city has no incentive to build the MLK PBL unless the current bike lanes are removed from the map and no longer count. Just imagine if we removed all of the bike lanes that aren’t enforceable from the map, I think city would lose between 25-50% of its bike lanes overnight and there would be a real push to improve the network

  30. Frank says:

    Remember back in 2014, when, in the wake of Sher Kung’s death, Mayor Murray tearfully said, “I am so sorry we did not act faster and sooner” on protected bike lanes?

    Yeah, me too.

  31. Ballard Resident says:

    Copenhagen didn’t always have the cycle infrastructure it has today. Citizens organized massive demonstrations demanding better infrastructure and safety before they got the infrastructure they have today.

    It’s obvious to me that politicians like Murray won’t do much even though we passed Move. He doesn’t have to. There’s no law making him following through with his promises.

    Cyclist need to figure out how to get the will of the people behind them. Many see cycling in Seattle as impractical because of hills and rain. I used to think that until I finally tried it. Now I want safer routes to ride (and walk). I realized how much easier it could be when I visited Copenhagen last fall.

  32. Doug Bostrom says:

    Until we see an increased commitment to enforcing existing traffic safety regulations, Vision Zero is simply bullshit.

    Speed limits, traffic signals, respect for pedestrians: based on the view from behind handlebars or windshield, these are simply not of real interest to our police force. Indeed, police behavior behind the wheel while not on call is hardly a good example.

    Looking at the total mayhem* cost of crime statistics versus the total mayhem cost of traffic misbehavior, traffic law enforcement should be a high priority, at least equal with crime enforcement but it is not. Instead, we communicate that respecting laws and regulations is more a matter of personal choice, a lifestyle thing.

    Keeping other people safe is not a lifestyle choice, not a choice we’re permitted to make. But the city chooses the coward’s way out, with lots of slogans but no actual useful action.

    So Vision Zero is complete bullshit until there’s a massive increase in traffic fines showing up in the accounting for municipal cash flow.

    *Mayhem defined as bodily harm

  33. Michael Francisco says:

    It’s a bait and switch game. The City got the bicycling community behind Proposition 1, but we’re not getting much of what was sold to us, and/or not getting it when we were told we would. That I voted against it is small comfort now that my property taxes have gone up 20%.

  34. Uli Kunkel says:

    Hmmm. So well-intentioned voters were convinced to increase their taxes by a group of Seattle politicians who, it turned out, were never willing or able to fulfill their promises? Who’d have ever thought that was possible? Probably anyone who’s lived here for more than 10 years and was paying any attention. The politicians (O’Brien is the most egregious example) rely on the fact that many voters here are new to voting and new to Seattle. I don’t see how this will ever change.

    • Michael Francisco says:


      • Doug Bostrom says:

        Just as a reminder: errors, lack of perfect foresight, sometimes inadequate skills do not equal “the entire proposition is wasted and nothing will happen.”

        Lest careless readers think that “well-intentioned voters were convinced to increase their taxes by a group of Seattle politicians who, it turned out, were never willing or able to fulfill their promises” is actually descriptive of the reality here…

      • Nathanael says:

        Murray obviously committed a blatant fraud against the voters. Bait and switch.

  35. Pingback: News Roundup: Breaking Its Promises

  36. Accountability Tzar says:

    Perhaps next time some of us raise serious concerns about the accountability and integrity mechanisms in a billion dollar levy and seek clarity about what wil be built with our tax dollars, Transportation Choices, Cascade Bike Club, Urbanist Org, Brubeck, Brock Howell, et all won’t dismiss us as being anti tax Repubicans/Libertarians. It’s not as if Bridging The Gap was any better, and yet voters ate up the “revised” project information that was disseminated 2 years after the levy began, with revised goals, projects and metrics, as if BTG was a huge success. Soon voters will get a taste of the HALA recommendations forced on us by Urbanist too, and then voters will start to really question what they accepted with this Mayor and the new Council.

  37. Seattletimebandit says:

    Really? You’re disappointed by your ideological (and possibly pandering) politician? Welcome to the real world.

  38. Pingback: SDOT backpedals even further on already-slashed bike plan, cuts 9th Ave | Seattle Bike Blog

  39. Pingback: Turn your downtown bike lane frustration into fun at Cascade’s ‘Hidden Gem’ scavenger hunt | Seattle Bike Blog

  40. Pingback: Guest post: Seattle’s stranded biking families | Seattle Bike Blog

  41. Pingback: Capitol Hill, Central Seattle lose in updated bike master plan | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  42. Pingback: Guest post part II: How Seattle can rescue residents stranded by an incomplete bike network | Seattle Bike Blog

  43. Pingback: Part II: How Seattle Can Rescue Residents Stranded By An Incomplete Bike Network – The Urbanist

  44. Pingback: Man killed and woman seriously injured in shared-bike collision with bus | Seattle Bike Blog

  45. Pingback: Watch: City Inside/Out takes on Seattle’s slashed bike plans | Seattle Bike Blog

  46. Pingback: Don’t Delay Downtown & Connect Our Neighborhoods – Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

  47. Pingback: Sullivan: 2nd Ave just a start for bike safety (VIDEO) | Seattle Bike Blog

  48. Pingback: Tuesday Night: Discuss Bike/Transit Integration at City Hall

  49. Pingback: Seattle: Cyclists Ask Policy Makers to Put the Petal to the Metal | Sidney's Space

  50. Pingback: The Center City Mobility Plan: Sensible Study or a Process Punt?

  51. Pingback: Center City Connector Takes Another Step Forward

  52. Pingback: Truck Crash on Freeway Paralyzes Traffic. Seattle Times: Ditch the Bike Lanes! – Streetsblog USA

Comments are closed.