It is long past time to build a comfortable and safe biking and walking connection between Georgetown and South Park. These communities are so close, yet the most direct way to walk between them involves a dirt path running behind an active rail line. Biking between the communities requires biking on skinny paint-only bike lanes on a truck-heavy stretch of E Marginal Way.
Councilmember Bruce Harrell (D2) has proposed a $600,000 addition to the city budget to fund design and outreach work for the trail connection, which has a new head of steam thanks to community-led efforts and the city’s in-process Georgetown Mobility Study.
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has created a handy online form to help you easily tell the City Council you support this trail funding. They are also asking people show up at City Hall tonight (Wednesday) to express your support during the Council’s Budget Hearing.
More details from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways:
Help us take the next step in making this trail a reality by coming and standing in solidarity this Wednesday, November 1st at 5:30 at Seattle City Hall during the City Council budget hearing.
We’ll have a big ribbon and pair of scissors to do a mock cut-the-ribbon opening ceremony for the trail. Feel free to bring friends, family, and supportive signs (such as “Build the Trail!”). We’ll provide some blank signs that you customize with why you support the trail. While we don’t know when exactly we’ll get speak and cut the ribbon during the hearing, we think you’ll be able to leave by 6:30.
If you also want to give speak about why the trail is important to you, the sign up sheet to speak is put out at 4:30.
Wednesday, November 1st
- 4:30 p.m. Sign-in begins (if you want to speak)
- 5:15 p.m. Doors to Chambers open
- 5:30 p.m. Budget Committee Public Hearing Begins (please be here by this time to help show support for the trail)
Seattle City Hall
Council Chambers — Floor 2
600 4th Ave., Seattle 98104
That trail funding is not the only budget ask safe streets groups are making this year. Cascade Bicycle Club is also supporting efforts to add staff time to the city’s Transportation Equity Program, to increase bike theft resources, to protect Summer Parkways funding, to make sure bike safety is part of the Center City Streetcar project, and to study congestion pricing as a way to mitigate projected increases in downtown traffic once the car tunnel opens.
Cascade also has an online form you can use to support these budget asks.
Here are a few of the bike-related budget items Cascade and our partners are advocating for this year:
- Transportation Equity Program — Reliable and affordable transportation is linked with health and economic opportunity. Councilmember Mike O’Brien has requested to add a full-time staff position to SDOT’s Transportation Equity Program, increasing its capacity to include bicycling in this important work.
- Bike Theft Resources — Bicycle Security Advisors and Bike Index have put forth a bold legislative agenda to address bike theft, including improved reporting and investigations, public education, voluntary registration and database integration. Councilmember O’Brien has requested $10,000 to be included in the budget for Seattle Police Department to begin this work — a small start with big potential.
- Georgetown-South Park Trail — Duwamish Valley Safe Streets, an active and visionary Seattle Neighborhood Greenways group, has rallied major community support to fund the preliminary engineering, design and outreach for a 0.45-mile multi-use path between Georgetown and South Park. Councilmember Bruce Harrell is making this $600,000 request.
- Study local diversion due to tolling on SR 99 — Questions around how the new SR 99 tunnel will impact traffic congestion downtown remain. We do know that it is critical to keep downtown streets prioritized for transit, biking and walking, so this budget item would allow SDOT to hire a consultant study on local diversion (overflow traffic in downtown) due to tolling on State Route 99 and plan ahead.
- Summer Parkways — Summer Parkways closes down major streets to vehicle traffic and opens them up for families to walk, bike and stroll car free. These events help shift our car-dominant paradigm and allow us to reimagine what our streets could be if we allocated space to people over cars — we could have street markets, community performances, urban parks and more. This program is at risk of being cut, so Councilmember Rob Johnson is asking to add $150,000 to SDOT to restore funding for the Summer Parkways Program
- Examining speed and reliability on existing streetcar lines — A Statement of Legislative Intent, or SLI, submitted by Councilmember O’Brien will ensure that SDOT examines speed and reliability recommendations for the South Lake Union and First Hill streetcar lines. This is important for improving transit service overall; however, we’d like to ask that Council does not forget about examining bike safety improvements along the existing lines including how to fund them.