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Last day to support a complete Aurora Ave

Public comment closes today (April 12) on early concepts for the future of Aurora Avenue N, the most dangerous street in the city.

The good news is that the city is considering some very ambitious ideas for the city-managed state highway, including protected bike lanes and center-running rapid bus lanes. The less good news is that the concepts at this point seem to pit bold transit improvements against bike safety.

But it’s still early, so this is the time to make it clear that there is a lot of support for a future Aurora Avenue that prioritizes biking, walking and transit to foster a safe and inviting neighborhood commercial boulevard. The city’s growth plans call for even more housing along this street. It needs to be so much more than a half-baked wannabe freeway.

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The Aurora Reimagined Coalition put together this cheat sheet to make the survey a bit easier and faster to complete:

A chart showing happy or neutral faces for every idea other than "keep the existing number of lanes for vehicles."

The early concepts change a bit from segment to segment, but in general there is one option with protected bike lanes and curbside bus lanes, one with center-running BRT-style bus lanes and no bike lanes, and one with minimal changes unfortunately called a “walkable boulevard” even though it is not dramatically better for walking than the “bike connection” concept. There is also a so-called “maintain capacity” option that we should go ahead at toss out now because the status quo is untenable.

Map marking with the 5 segments from South Lake Union to the northern city limit.

Below are the concepts for Segment 1 for example:

Design concept titled Bike Connection.
Design concept titled center running bus lane.
Design concept titled walkable boulevard.

Rebuilding a better Aurora is going to be an enormous lift requiring wide-ranging partnerships from the city to King County Metro to the state and probably the feds, too. The potential is incredible, but so is the scale of the challenge. Aurora has been a hostile space for so long that a lot of people are going to have a difficult time imagining it as anything else. But I believe in this city, and I know we can do it. Join the Aurora Reimagined Coalition’s mailing list and be ready to help out however you can. This one’s gonna be a marathon.

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2 responses to “Last day to support a complete Aurora Ave”

  1. Allan

    I wish I had seen the cheat sheet earlier. I found it to be confusing survey with some odd choices. I hope we can get sidewalks in the north section and something other than an I-99.

  2. asdf2

    Three comments:

    1) The Aurora bridge should be reduced from three lanes to two to allow room for a center barrier, shoulders, and an extra foot or so of sidewalk space.

    2) The underpass at 63rd needs sidewalks on both sides of the street and better lighting.

    3) Bus/right turn lanes throughout Aurora need to be enforced 24/7, not just during rush hour.

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