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Westlake businesses hold the city's bike plan hostage

Fears of speeding bikes and lost parking spaces, plus resentment of past SDOT practices, fuel a parking-lot rebellion.

Cyclists prefer the unsafe parking lot on the left to the awkward trail on the right.

Cyclists prefer the unsafe parking lot on the left to the awkward trail on the right. Eric Scigliano

The new year seemed like a new dawn for Seattle bicycling. The City Council was poised to pass the updated Bicycle Master Plan – an update so long-awaited and comprehensive it’s really a new plan; one that would make safe, comfortable cycling accessible to many more types of riders in many more parts of the city. After some jitters over candidate Ed Murray’s talk of a “balanced” transportation policy, which sounded like code for swinging the pendulum back to cars, and his fumbling and flipping on various bike issues, bicycle advocates were finally reassured that Murray isn’t anti-bike and is down with the plan.

This week city councilmembers and the newly installed Mayor Murray engaged in a bit of “After you, my dear Alphonse” over who should prepare a formal resolution for adoption: They expected him to do it (and perhaps tweak the plan), but his office insisted that since departing Mayor McGinn had already sent the plan to the Council, it was in their hands and they should go ahead on their own. So they will.

Riders, on your marks, get set…..Whoops.

Now the bike plan is on hold and under attack, blocked by a legal challenge from business and boat owners along one corridor — the section of Westlake Avenue N. fronting Lake Union. The challenge is, ironically, framed as an environmental one. The ad hoc Westlake Stakeholders Group contests the determination of environmental nonsignificance (DNS) that Seattle’s Department of Transportation issued for the bike plan, contending that big bike projects should undergo the same sort of environmental review as big rail and highway projects.

“I assume a $4 million infrastructure project [the city estimates $2.3 million] will cross the threshold [for SEPA review]," says Sierra Hansen, a public relations rep retained by the Westlake Stakeholders. Hansen is referring to a protected cycle track that the plan prescribes for the corridor. “And it’s not the only one. It’s going to be the first of many. There are a half-billion dollars of investments in that plan. They’re glossing over the environmental issues.”

Hansen adds that the cycle track should even be reviewed under the Shoreline Protection Act, since it will stray into the shoreline zone at some points. But the issues that actually concern the Westlake Stakeholders are more prosaic: parking spaces, vehicular access and safety.

The site in question is an unusual one – in effect, Seattle’s longest parking lot; a mile-and-a-half of city-owned frontage up to 100 feet wide between Westlake Ave. and the waterfront businesses. The Westlake Stakeholders’ notice of appeal complains that carving out a 10-foot wide cycle track will steal many of the strip’s 1,200 parking spaces, “used 24/7 by businesses, residents and patrons,” with no analysis of parking impacts. Sending cyclists zipping down the unobstructed track will inevitably inflict dangerous “conflicts” (read “collisions”) with cars, trucks and pedestrians trying to cross. These dangers will be compounded by increased truck traffic along Westlake, a designated freight corridor, once the waterfront tunnel is completed and Ballard-bound vehicles no longer exit Highway 99 onto Western Avenue.

Ergo, SDOT should prepare a full environmental impact statement, which would presumably gauge the impacts not just of this track, but of all the other 472 miles of bicycle tracks, trails, lanes and neighborhood greenways proposed under the plan. By the time that’s done, it might be time for a new update.

To the bicycle plan’s defenders, this claim, and complaints about the Westlake Cycle Track design, seem wildly premature and overblown. “It’s a big club these guys have taken at the master plan,” says Thomas Goldstein, the recently installed policy director of the Cascade Bicycle Club, which worked with SDOT to develop the plan. “For me there’s no problem putting a separated cycle track along that corridor. It would actually improve parking. The way the parking lot is set up is perfect for 1962” but badly outdated now  – even though it was reconfigured, in what the Westlakers say was a successful collaboration with the city, just six years ago.


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Comments:

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 2:44 p.m. Inappropriate

"60 percent of the people in the city want to bike more" ? Where does that come from? Maybe 60% of those who bike want to bike more.

I'd like to see the Bicycle Master Plan and Pedestrian Master Plan be combined and a Complete Streets Master Plan. Everyone has to walk or navigate a wheel chair. Bicycling and driving both are optional.

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 4:01 p.m. Inappropriate

Let me google that for you:
http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Seattle-Voter-Attitudes-on-Bicycling.pdf

joolian

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 4:24 p.m. Inappropriate

What were the polling standards and methodologies of bikeportland.org? Do they have an agenda?

simorgh

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 5:23 p.m. Inappropriate

From the document linked:
"Methodology: From December 9-12, 2012, FM3 completed a telephone survey
of 400 registered voters in Seattle, Washington. Interviews were
conducted on both landline and wireless phones. The margin of sampling
error for the full sample is +/-4.9%. Margins of sampling error will be
higher for subgroups within the sample. Some results do not total to 100%
because of rounding."

Commissioned by CBC, but carried out by independent polling org. Agenda - letting some hot air out of the "war on cars" nonsense?

joolian

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 3:03 p.m. Inappropriate

Thanks! Given I know someone who runs home up that atrocious strip of parking lots, again I think the on foot experience needs to be also part of the planning picture.

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 2:56 p.m. Inappropriate

Complying with environmental laws is a headache and I suspect that bike supporters wouldn't hesitate to file if they thought it would serve their aims. Sucks when the shoe is on the other pedal.

As a project leader for the Forest Service, my experience with the NEPA process was that lines on paper usually convince a judge that the lines are close enough for government work and should be judged accordingly. I'm sure that SDOT has had the same experience, that makes their dodging and weaving a load of bull shift. SDOT is looking for the path of least resistance and found a large speed bump, which could have been avoided by the doing job correctly from the start. The secret is; not everybody gets their way but if you don't listen and address those concerns, then they get their day in court. That adds time and money to any project, no matter how worthy.

Djinn

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 3:33 p.m. Inappropriate

There is not enough parking for the Westlake businesses. No bike paths along there will serve the businesses needs.

The war on cars and the war on business needs has got to end - or Seattle will see more and more businesses relocated elsewhere. 60% of the City of Seattle does NOT want to bike more, especially between November - mid to late April.

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 7:22 p.m. Inappropriate

If there isn't enough parking for Westlake businesses, then why don't those businesses invest in a parking structure? Why should the space in question - a public asset - be used exclusively to benefit private businesses?

A bike path "along there" - a public right-of-way - may not serve business needs, but it will serve a public need, which is completely appropriate given that it's a public asset.

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 8:43 p.m. Inappropriate

An astute and correct observastion, but beside the point.

Once a law is on the books it is there for anyone with enough money to hire a lawyer to use it (or mis-use it). Laws are interpreted on their plain text, not on their intent.

The environmental review laws (SEPA, Shoreline Management Act, etc.) were put in place to allow courts to rule on any body of facts someone wanted to put into evidence by filing a lawsuit and having expert (and dueling) consultants. The ability to do that is in statute regardless of who owns the property, or in the case of public property, what majority of their citizens might support the proposed new use.

The City could just say it is our land and fence it off (excepting corridors for people and frieght to cross it to get to the businesses, Washiton's Constitution and Courts don't look favorably on people who use their property to deny other owners access to their property). The owners would lose the free parking with little recource.

But if the City chose to take the next step and tear up that parking, that would be a change of use. Any change of use had environmental impacts (possitive and negative) and anyone could litigate whether a full study needs to be done of those impacts under SEPA, SPA and other laws put in place to protect the environment by forcing an evaluation of development or other changes of use.

Ironic, but all too predictable.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 6:23 p.m. Inappropriate

Sure, that's a great "progressive" solution: put a fence around the land and run the businesses out of there. You got yours, now let all the people who work there lose their jobs because some lazy bicycle parasites have to ruin another street. Makes perfect sense in your world.

NotFan

Posted Sat, Jan 11, 3:11 p.m. Inappropriate

I don't think much, if any, of the parking at issue is "free". I seldom park down there but I walk it frequently and it appears that most of the spaces require a parking sticker. Incidentally, I bike and walk in that area and it is better for walkers but seems to work OK for bicyclists as it is. I am not sure the dedicated bike path is needed.

kieth

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 3:59 p.m. Inappropriate

There's PLENTY of room in that huge right-of-way for a protected bike lane and adequate parking, with some sensible design work (angle-in parking, etc) and parking policy (since it's full of park-and-ride cars currently).

There was public process and input ongoing (open house above, etc, claiming they were blindsided is absurd). Suing to block the entire city's master plan about this tiny fraction of what it represents, about a project previously chosen and elsewhere funded, is an abuse of the legal process. Plus, sorry, no, a line on a map with no actual project design detail doesn't have enough information to gauge environmental impact.

I was previously sympathetic to business access concerns on this route. Now that they're blocking safety projects like neighborhood greenways all over the city because they perceive that they're going to lose "their" parking on Westlake, that goodwill and spirit of constructive collaboration seems lost.

I hope they reconsider this appeal, or at least don't drag out appeals the way the Ballard appellants (also Brower clients) are doing. Suing the rest of us seems to be a decision made by a tiny minority of actual stakeholders on that route. I think there's a quieter majority that was interested in working out a compromise design.

joolian

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 9:01 p.m. Inappropriate

Courts, by their very nature, are intended to protect tiny minorities from the will of the majority when it is at their expense. They are anti-democratic. They are a check against tyranny of majority.

In the case of SEPA and the Shoreline Managment Act they are also a restriction on a property right of an owner, be they private or public.

We see it as legit when used by the public against a private property owner but as illegit when used by private property owners against the public (when they want to change the use of public land). But the law doesn't descriminate based on who the Plaintiff is or their motive when it grants a right to sue. The law is neutral on motive or Plaintifs. It just says somebody gets to challenge a change of use based on environmental concers and gives the plaintiff, if they prevail the right to ask the court to impose espensive mitigation to minimize impacts. It has to be that way, or it would be unconstitutionally vague (do we really want courts to mind-read about plaintiff's motives or pluck from thin air the "spirit" of a law?)

Nobody thinks about that when they pass a law that allows someone new grounds to sue to that did not exist before.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 3:15 p.m. Inappropriate

I would agree with your otherwise excellent points if we were talking about a suit to block a specific design plan for Westlake (as in Ballard), rather than a high-level guidance plan for the entire city.

joolian

Posted Wed, Jan 15, 6:42 a.m. Inappropriate

... and yet the lawsuit is going forward. It wasn't dismissed on summary judgment, which means that the Judge has found a basis in the law, as written by the Legislature, for the suit (without ruling on its merits). Clearly a right to challenge the entire Master Plan has been granted by the Legislature and they intended to do so.

In Jefferson County (Port Townsend), Futurewise has been challenging Master Land Use Plans for over a decade, merely because they would allow certain types of development and land uses, even though no specific development or use has been specifically proposed. Some of the suits have been successful, so the Legislature clearly wanted plans to be challengeable, by third-parties, via a lawsuit.

If you want those lawsuits only to be applicable on a project by project basis and desisgn by design basis, rather than on a community-wide basis (i.e. the plan, if implemented has environmental impacts that must be considered and mitigated), you need to carp to Olympia not here.

Otherwise, we have a future where anyone that objects and can afford the filing fee, can obstruct nearly any planned change in land-use by going to court.

Funny how the environmental community thought that ability to sue, would only be used by them. Now they are carping because the law is being utilized equally and equal access is being granted for such suits in the courts.

If we don't like this type of obstruction, for that is what it is, we simply change the law to allow the land owners to develop as they wish without being challenged on the grounds of environmental impact. ANY change in land use has an environmental impact. Any PLAN, if fully implemented has an environmental impact. Anyone can litigate as to whether the impact meets a high enough threshold to merit studies to measure that impact and to then force some sort of mitigation.

If we don't like that, we need to change the law.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 2:59 p.m. Inappropriate

I hope they "drag it out" forever, myself. Anything to make life harder for the selfish bicyclists is good. You want to fight a war on cars? We'll fight back. More of us than there are of you. We already got rid of your mayor, and that's only the start.

NotFan

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 4:05 p.m. Inappropriate

Why should businesses suffer loss of parking for bike lanes?

Will cyclists stop and do business in the established businesses who built their businesses and paid their taxes, and hired their employees based on the parking that was part of how they made their business plans and business decisions? What factual research has the cycling community provided about this financial subject of business survival?

For every parking space that is lost, who has verified that the cycling community will spend as much as the people parking in that parking spot spent in these businesses? No one ever seems to look at this logical question.

The businesses must earn a profit, or they decline. The established parking they depend upon is an urgently necessary part of the reason why they located along Westlake.

Find me any business along Westlake who wants the cycle path completed. If no businesses support this - who are the so-called "stakeholders" who want the cycle path? People who do not own businesses or land/buildings along Westlake?

Those are definitely NOT stakeholders.

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 4:40 p.m. Inappropriate

Sure bicycle riders in that corridor are stakeholders, just as are walkers, joggers, business owners, and vehicle drivers. When did owning a business on a street give one exclusive decision-making rights?

The current status is a mess, with bike riders weaving through the parking lot or slowing down traffic on a busy road. Neither is safe.

Parking is at a premium and the business owners are right to demand to see something solid for a plan rather that just "concepts". If you read through the options it appears that reconfiguration of the parking can be done with some stripe shifting and making some lanes one way to save space as to keep the current parking density. SDOT should go to the drawing board and present solid alternatives for the business community to comment on regarding parking configuration.

Lily32

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 6:48 p.m. Inappropriate

Why can't the selfish little babies use Dexter? They already wrecked that street. They should be required to use it, but in Seattle, they won't be. The "progressives" who run this circus miss no chance to feed these crybabies.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 11:47 a.m. Inappropriate

Saying that dedicated bicycle infrastructure isn't needed on Westlake because there are cycle-tracks on Dexter is like saying we don't need SR-99 because motorists can use I-5, we don't need the 520-bridge because I-90 also crosses Lake Washington, or we don't need a ferry to Bainbridge because there's one to Bremerton.

Furthermore, there is significant demand among cyclists for a north-south commute route that doesn't require climbing/descending significant hills such as that on Dexter.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 2:41 p.m. Inappropriate

In other words, the cyclists are too lazy to use what they were given. In that case, I'm sure they'd support ripping out the special infrastructure they got on Dexter that they won't use.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 4:46 p.m. Inappropriate

Dexter is perfect, it's right next to Westlake. Besides, Seattle need to keep all their extra money to pay for the bore tunnel overruns that the state will cram down their throats.

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 5:53 p.m. Inappropriate

Business owners in this area - and seemingly everywhere else - act as though public rights-of-way such as the area in question exist only for their benefit. If they want exclusive use of the area, they should propose to buy it from the city. Otherwise, they should acknowledge that this is public land that should be used for public benefit - recreation, transportation, and parking to maintain economic activity.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 3:05 p.m. Inappropriate

Agree completely.

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 6:46 p.m. Inappropriate

The selfish "progressive" bicycle parasites already got their way with Dexter. Now that they've ruined that street, they want to ruin another one. Given how things work in this city, they'll get their way.

NotFan

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 7:32 p.m. Inappropriate

Too bad, so sad. Shall I call the WAHabulance?

Treker

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 9:13 p.m. Inappropriate

If we're lucky, some bicyclist will zip through the stop sign on the trail, smack into a panel van, and another angel will get its wings.

NotFan

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 9:39 p.m. Inappropriate

Yawn.

Zzzzzzzzzzzz

Treker

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 12:49 a.m. Inappropriate

If you were that bored, "progressive," you wouldn't have bothered to reply.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 1:42 p.m. Inappropriate

Any time you flatulate a post it's likely to provoke lol or zzzzzz or stfu or something. I thought that was your whole point. You've got a whole string of them on this thread. Phew.

louploup

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 7:57 p.m. Inappropriate

I encourage ALL citizens to look at the proposed bicycle plan and comment to City Council:
You can find it at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/docs/bmp/nov13/Seattle%20BMP%20Master%20Map.pdf with and index of links to more details at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bikemaster_materials.htm.

It includes for bicycle tracks (meaning separated lanes removing either parking, a lane of traffic, or both) on MANY arterials including:
IN NORTH SEATTLE: 65th, Roosevelt, NE 130th/125th, 35th Ave NE, Fremont, Eastlake, Westlake, and others,
IN DOWNTOWN: 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th and others;
IN WEST SEATTLE: Admiral Way, Fauntleroy, 35th Ave. SW and others;
IN CENTRAL & SOUTH SEATTLE: Broadway, Martin Luther King Way, Rainier Ave, Airport Way South, East Marginal Way, and others..

It’s cost is estimated by SDOT at $390 to $525 million (that’s half a billion $)

In spite of what SDOT claims there has been no open well-publicized public process looking at the details. There have been a some public meetings and some outreach, but mostly involving proponents and/or very select groups – It is NOT well known by the general public and not well-advertised to the public at large. I’d wager the average citizen isn’t at all aware of the plan. (Seattle Times and Crosscut: you bear some negligence here).

The Department of Planning and Development and SDOT both have a history in many instances of avoiding SEPA and major reviews by using a subterfuge: At the master planning level they say the proper time for detailed review is at each individual project. But when each project comes up it is declared to be relatively insignificant and already adopted in a master plan, so its significance and alternatives are not reviewed.

I am not opposed to the intent of the proposed bicycle plan and firmly support the ideas of cycle tracks and especially neighborhood greenways. But I am opposed to adopting plans without adequately addressing alternative locations and without proper public input.

elbegewa

Posted Thu, Jan 9, 9:34 p.m. Inappropriate

Why bother commenting to the clowncil? They've never given a shit what anyone thinks, and they never will.

NotFan

Posted Mon, Jan 13, 8:56 p.m. Inappropriate

Tney care what voters think at election time. The voters of this City get the candidates they voted for and the policies they knew those candidates would support. It seems to me the problem that you have Notfan, is with the voters of Seattle not the Council.

They have a different point of view and elect candidates that support that point of view. You obviously disagree with it, as I often do, but the majority gets what they want in a given electorate, even if it is bad policy. You can't blame the Council for supporting the policies that the voters that elected them want.

Posted Mon, Jan 13, 8:56 p.m. Inappropriate

Tney care what voters think at election time. The voters of this City get the candidates they voted for and the policies they knew those candidates would support. It seems to me the problem that you have Notfan, is with the voters of Seattle not the Council.

They have a different point of view and elect candidates that support that point of view. You obviously disagree with it, as I often do, but the majority gets what they want in a given electorate, even if it is bad policy. You can't blame the Council for supporting the policies that the voters that elected them want.

Posted Mon, Jan 13, 8:57 p.m. Inappropriate

Tney care what voters think at election time. The voters of this City get the candidates they voted for and the policies they knew those candidates would support. It seems to me the problem that you have Notfan, is with the voters of Seattle not the Council.

They have a different point of view and elect candidates that support that point of view. You obviously disagree with it, as I often do, but the majority gets what they want in a given electorate, even if it is bad policy. You can't blame the Council for supporting the policies that the voters that elected them want.

Posted Mon, Jan 13, 8:57 p.m. Inappropriate

Tney care what voters think at election time. The voters of this City get the candidates they voted for and the policies they knew those candidates would support. It seems to me the problem that you have Notfan, is with the voters of Seattle not the Council.

They have a different point of view and elect candidates that support that point of view. You obviously disagree with it, as I often do, but the majority gets what they want in a given electorate, even if it is bad policy. You can't blame the Council for supporting the policies that the voters that elected them want.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 7:21 a.m. Inappropriate

SDOTs public meetings don't exist to collect input, but to just give the appearance of collecting input and the make the public feel like they are being listened to. The plans are already made and in motion.

talisker

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 7:46 p.m. Inappropriate

That's true if all gov't meetings. The city clowncil doesn't even bother to publish committee meeting agendas in advance anymore. Who needs to know already knows.

NotFan

Posted Tue, Jan 14, 3:04 p.m. Inappropriate

Before another inch of bike track is built, we need to deal with the following: ensure pedestrian and handicapped access, then transit. Everyone needs to walk and get to places. A car is a luxury. A bicycle is optional.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 12:25 a.m. Inappropriate

Along Westlake Avenue, from Valley St to the Fremont Bridge, there are 27 driveway entries to the parking lot (I was on the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Committee and I did things like count driveways). Each driveway and automobile path to the lot takes up ten parking spaces. The 27 driveways cause many accidents (cars darting onto Westlake, cars suddenly slowing to enter the parking lot). Cut the number of driveways to a sensible five or six (like the huge parking lot at Northgate shopping center has) and you would gain two hundred parking spaces--and a safer automobile enviroment.

These parking spaces are NOT being used by Amazon employees. I suspect that they are extreme commuters. But the point is, they are commuters, not business customers. The businesses along the shore need parking--and we should provide it. Simply put a two hour limit and the parking would become available for customers and would not be used by commuters. Sometimes there is a simple answer to a problem.

Then, build a bike trail on the west side of the parking lot, abandon the ridiculous 'shore-side' trail. File a one paragraph EIS which states, "Building a bike trail here would be good for the enviroment." File a shoreline management act plan ("Replacing a parking lot with a bike trail is good for the water/shoreline."

Thanks, and send my consultant check to a charity of my choice: that would be 'Save the Dick Falkenburys of the World".

Dick Falkenbury

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 12:53 a.m. Inappropriate

Better yet, require bicyclists to get a license to use their vehicle on the street, and pay taxes. Any vehicle not carrying a plate would be liable to be run over by a legal road user, no questions asked.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 12:57 a.m. Inappropriate

Why all the separate "master plans" for transportation? Separate documents for bicycles, pedestrians, transit, freight, etc. etc. When SDOT staff try to plan improvements on a given corridor, they overlay all these separate plans and often discover they don't fit together very well.

I suggest we meld them all together into one document, a single Transportation Master Plan. Would simplify things for everyone, especially citizens who want to understand what the City is proposing for transportation, but can't make sense out of the multiple separate plans. I expect SDOT engineers and planners would welcome the simplification also.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 7:18 a.m. Inappropriate

Why not convert the already strong bicycling infrastructure on Dexter to a cycle track?

talisker

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 1:44 p.m. Inappropriate

Elevation gain.

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 2:39 p.m. Inappropriate

Translation: "Progressive" bicyclists are too lazy.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 8:12 a.m. Inappropriate

The solution is just common sense. Leave it all alone. I've ridden my bike through there for years. Like anywhere else you just have to pay attention and practice common courtesy.

We can't "baby proof" the whole world.

In this case less is more.

ruffner

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 10:01 a.m. Inappropriate

I guess I am completely missing something. The city has created excellent bike lanes on Dexter. Both Dexter and Westlake converge at the Fremont bridge. Wouldn't it make more sense (and be much cheaper) to find a way to get the bicyclists onto Dexter? What am I missing here. Please tell me.

m-t-e

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 10:33 a.m. Inappropriate

If you can convince the 200/hour (during peak) cyclists to use dexter instead of Westlake, then maybe a bikeway along Westlake isn't needed. The fact is, this number is large enough to be dangerous not only for the cyclists themselves but also for peds and also makes it more difficult for drivers to negociate the parking areas.

I went to the public meeting for this project a couple months ago. I would estimate at least a few hundred people showed up, from all perspectives of interest. I listened to what several people had to say. Some people were adamantly against any bike facility. Most simply wanted their concerns heard and dealt with.

I do believe there are solutions which can work reasonably well for all parties. To get there, frankly, the SDOT is going to have to do more listening and adapting. They may have a good solution in mind, but without communicating it and getting validation from the interested parties, they build distrust.

Regardless, status quo is not going to work. Not for anyone.

pragmatic

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 1:16 p.m. Inappropriate

It's dangerous for cyclists? GOOD! Maybe the thing to do is organize some motorists to make it even more dangerous for them, then. Pedestrians should start carrying baseball bats. This city's bicyclists are reckless, dangerous jerks, and it's time for a serious response to their campaign of intimidation against everyone else.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 1:19 p.m. Inappropriate

Oops, looks like I stepped in something.

pragmatic

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 1:47 p.m. Inappropriate

You are lumping all bikers into the jerk category. I am neither reckless nor dangerous. And I keep my u-lock handy for jerk drivers like you.

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 2:23 p.m. Inappropriate

@louploup, it seems that you're one of the many violent Seattle "progressive" bicyclists, then. Just try it with your lock. I beg ya. There'll be nothing left of you but a stain and some scattered bicycle parts.

Meantime, I'll be praying that you'll do what the other idiots of your kind do and try to cross the railroad tracks at an oblique angle and then blame someone else for their stupidity. Better yet, dress in black and ride your fixie in the rain some night, without a light. I'm sure your friends at The Stranger will attend the funeral.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:38 p.m. Inappropriate

Nope, don't do any of those things. On the other hand, when drivers like you (you're calling me angry? lol) threaten me because I'm infringing on their precious right to deny me the right of way when I'm doing so safely, first I write down the license...

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 9:49 p.m. Inappropriate

loup-poop, I carry the baseball bat strictly defensively, and I urge others to do so as well. The ninja bicyclists are dangerous, reckless, and violent, and they have the support of "progressives" throughout Seattle.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 10:08 a.m. Inappropriate

Thanks to the writer for finally explaining to me (I admit I didn't do my homework before) that the reason the tunnel is going to Lake Union is because the plan is for trucks to reach Ballard over Westlake rather than over Western. Boneheaded doesn't begin to express what I think of this, but despite what sympathy I have for cyclists, I can't see how this is going to be good for them. They may have a protected track, but it appears that they will be subjected to the heady stench of the big trucks. Can't see how that's a plus for them. And of course this will mean another travel route for cars will be destroyed. Maybe that's the real plan. And it surely will be impossible to cross the Fremont bridge anymore with all the trucks waiting to go through, and rumbling through the middle of Fremont itself. Why is this a good idea? Western to Elliot to Ballard seems much better for the trucks. And I agree with those who say the city has already given Dexter to cyclists. Why isn't that enough? If they need to get to Fremont, they have an easy downhill coast. I see this as an intensification of the war on cars. I share one commenter's curiosity as to how cyclist spending is going to replace that of drivers' spending when all streets are one lane, speeds have been "calmed" to 10 mph, and there is no parking anywhere except at $10/hour--but that won't matter because no driver will be able to get there in a day anyway.

If the commenter who said the survey that yielded the figure of 60% of city dwellers wanting to bike more was correct that it was based on 400 responses, then that says to me that 240 people believe that. Out of what? Half a million? Surveys don't reveal truth. They reveal the results those who commission them ask for, pure and simple.

The sad fact is that many of us MUST drive, some of us choose to drive, and some of us will simply continue to DRIVE. I don't know who the people are who have hours to spend on the bus every day, including weekends, trying to live their lives, visit their friends and families, take their kids to lessons and practices, go to school conferences, go to a play or a movie, all by bicycle, on foot, or on public transportation. I don't see a full life as I define it as possible using only those methods of travel. So, are we all supposed to voluntarily reduce our lives to long rides on public transport with occasional moments at home, and of course our work time? Sounds pretty awful to me.

mspat

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 4:48 p.m. Inappropriate

Yes, and bad for the economy too.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 6:28 p.m. Inappropriate

mspat, the "progressives" who run Seattle HATE your car. They HATE your single family home. They HATE your neighborhood. They HATE your children. They HATE your life. You are an obstacle, and the sooner they clear you out, the better.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 11:59 a.m. Inappropriate

RE the survey--let's start with population demographics before we say 60%. Someone ought to have this number broken down by age group. (Surely that was part of the survey.) I'm thinking that under 16s are not or should not be biking on major thoroughfares. And then there are the over 65s or over 70s, if you prefer. The biking population in those age groups should also be small.

My question ends up being 60% of what. Please don't play fast and loose with numbers because someone like me is going to complain because, to be real, the percent has to be based on a real population number. Otherwise 60% means nothing.

m-t-e

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 12:33 p.m. Inappropriate

The survey was of 400 registered Seattle voters. Implying that they are over 18. I understand that it matters what demographics were surveyed, but it's fast and loose with numbers to assume that Seattle voters over the age of 65 would be less likely to bicycle. Or 16 and under for that matter.

smithels

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 4:50 p.m. Inappropriate

You ask 60% of what ... well, apparently they surveyed 400 UW students who were registered voters for this survey. No surprise that 60% of them wanted to bike more often or that they wanted PE credits for cycling.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 7:24 p.m. Inappropriate

those of use in the reality-based world would love a reference for that claim ... "i heard it on Dori's show" doesn't count, if you're wondering.

joolian

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 12:30 p.m. Inappropriate

I have to pay to get a zone sticker to park in front of my home. The business climate in my neighborhood (Pike/Pine) is excellent despite 100% paid parking and heavy bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

So, when I hear that the unmitigated bellyaching of a privileged group of business owners on Westlake Ave. North has stopped progress for the ENTIRE city, I am upset. Why are these people entitled to 1,200 free parking spaces? Is that really good use of city property? Will a protected bike lane actually destroy their parking? Has SDOT decided where the lane will go or is the Westlake mafia jumping the gun and knee-jerking progress to a standstill?

I, a middle aged, middleclass woman, avoid driving as much as I can to diminish my carbon footprint, diminish traffic and avoid having to park. I am one of the 60% referred to above. I ride from Capitol Hill to Fremont quite often and would like to take the shortest route with the least elevation gain (did I say I was middleaged?). That route is Westlake but it is currently completely unsafe. The options are to ride with traffic that often exceeds 45 miles per hour, thread through a parking lot avoiding cars that are backing up and paying little attention, or to ride on a sidewalk wiggling through pedestrians (unsafe at any speed).

The bicycle master plan was created over many months with input from thousands of citizens. It has the aim of improving safety, access, and congestion throughout the city. I hate to see the actions of a selfish few hold the rest of us hostage.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 1:25 p.m. Inappropriate

I rode this route for the first time last Sunday on my bike to check out the situation. Riding thru a parking lot with cars coming and going and the sidewalk trail with walkers and joggers was like playing Russian roulette. Cyclists have a right to ride in a safe environment. They also pay for roads. The Bike Master Plan insures inclusion of safe mobility for cyclists. The Westlake Stakeholders have issues we can mitigate without costing the taxpayers anymore litigation spending. Why not try the cycle track and see if it has an adverse impact first instead of holding hostage the rest of the Bike Master Plan. We're not talking about big costs to change it back or make it different.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 2:26 p.m. Inappropriate

Your bicycle pays no road use taxes like every other vehicle, yet all you people ever do is make demands on your betters. Then you wonder why we utterly DESPISE you. Bicyclists have been taking advantage of the productive taxpayers here for far, far too long.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 3:17 p.m. Inappropriate

Her bicycle is not a King County or City taxpayer, so true. Neither is your car. People pay taxes, and she does too, perhaps more than you.

joolian

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:38 p.m. Inappropriate

She pays nothing to use her bicycle on the roads. She's a free riding parasite, which of course is solidly within the Seattle "progressive" tradition of making demands and sticking others with the costs.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 4:52 p.m. Inappropriate

Cyclists do not have financial parity with vehicles. The City of Seattle geared those parking spaces for the businesses that built businesses, and to take them away without replacing them is economic malfeasance, and a form of breach of contract with those same businesses who survive based on their parking needs being met.

If the city can manage to stripe the right of way to allow for bikes, at a reasonable, low-cost way, that doesn't strip very many parking spaces, well that might be ok. But we all know that none of those issues will be affordable or appropriately done to serve the needs of the established clients of the city - those businesses have a right to expect consistency from the city in terms of those decades long, established parking spaces.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:40 p.m. Inappropriate

The "progressives" hate cars and hate businesses, until they are stuck at a red light, unemployed.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 2:47 p.m. Inappropriate

You are a middle aged, middle class, self-righteous, selfish "progressive" obstacle in the road. You are why this city has deteriorated, and your outrageous selfishness is why a constantly growing number of people here despises bicyclists. Yep, YOU.

"Improving congestion?" You are such a goddamned liar. You and your bicycle crowd wants to hold everyone else hostage to your demands. By the way, if you ride your toy through a parking lot, and then you're flattened by a car that's backing up, my reaction will to laugh at you and offer a hearty handshake to the one who backed over you.

Bicyclists have no business riding through a parking lot. They should be arrested and have their toys confiscated for doing that.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 1:05 p.m. Inappropriate

Kudos to the many thoughtful commentators here. Unfortunately, the author of the article parked his journalistic objectivity with his bike - his sympathies are way too obvious. As one who cycles to work via the Westlake parking lot and home via Dexter, I do understand the desire for flat route connecting South Lake Union to the Fremont Bridge. But after the flashy rebuild of Dexter, only those who've drunk the kool-aid poured by bicycling advocates could possible argue we now need a cycle track or trail on Westlake! Yet were it not for the project's aggressive opposition, the City and SDOT wouldn't hestitate for a moment. They have mindlessly bought into the hype that bicycling should be encouraged at all costs, and have become utterly indifferent to the simple fact that 97% of the population in Seattle does not ride a bike to work (where's that liberal commitment to democracy and the 99%?). And while many can be manipulated into saying they would like to bike more (but only under perfect conditions), Seattle, with its hills, bottlenecks, bridges and narrow rights of way, cannot possibly become a place where cycling is any more than a marginal player in the larger transportation scheme. And even though it has wrapped itself in green (which of course is why the politicians jump right on board the fantasy ride), bicycling displaces very few automobile trips and mostly short ones at that, so effectively does nothing to slow global warming. In fact, an argument could be made that road diets (which often include bike lanes), inevitably result in slower automobile progression through intersections and thus increased idle time, have a net negative effect on the environment....

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 1:55 p.m. Inappropriate

"Seattle, with its hills, bottlenecks, bridges and narrow rights of way, cannot possibly become a place where cycling is any more than a marginal player in the larger transportation scheme." is an assumption, and I disagree. There are many locations where non-hilly, grade separated bike trails can be built to enable a significant increase in the % of people using bikes to get around. There's alread a great such route that connects Ballard as well as Lake City to the UW.

Westlake is probably another such route and is one of the most important links in town. I agree Westlake needs a more complete study, and I also agree an EIS is the best way to do it. And an EIS would also take the wind out of the opposition if it's done well. Do the design and cost work, compare some alternatives.

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 2:27 p.m. Inappropriate

You and your a-hole crew already ruined Dexter, and now you refuse to use it because you're too lazy and selfish.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:42 p.m. Inappropriate

I don't "refuse to use it." As usual, you spew.

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 6:18 p.m. Inappropriate

And now you simply lie, in the usual "progressive" style. You already wrote the Dexter's too steep for your lazy bicyclist crowd, and now you deny the refusal to use it. Tell me, do you people ever tell the truth about anything, or do "progressives" consider honesty a sign of weakness? Your friend the fat woodchuck ex-mayor, certainly did.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 6:32 p.m. Inappropriate

Keep spewing. I can't wait for you to blow a gasket. Unfortunately the splatter on your keyboard won't register.

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 6:34 p.m. Inappropriate

p.s. I've told you before; I didn't vote for McGinn. Your fact retention is as bad as your logic and discourse.

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 7:10 p.m. Inappropriate

Rats from a sinking "progressive" ship. You disavowed your poor overfed woodchuck only after it was clear he'd be deposed. You people fool no one.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:21 p.m. Inappropriate

Oh, thank you, louploup! You are exactly correct!

mspat

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:22 p.m. Inappropriate

Oh, thank you! You are exactly correct!

mspat

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 1:39 p.m. Inappropriate

This sounds surprisingly familiar to the situation concerning the 'missing link' of the Burke-Gilman trail in Ballard where a few businesses complaining about how they "really need that free parking" have been able to slow the project for years and years.

The fact that a few obstructionists can stall projects that would benefit many more is truly pathetic.

jeffro

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 1:58 p.m. Inappropriate

I generally agree. However, City of Seattle loves to avoid SEPA as much as possible, so I don't have much sympathy. Just do the work and be done with it. Then there can only be one lawsuit by project opponants (EIS adequacy) that is much harder to win than the threshold challenge (DNS challenge).

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 2:28 p.m. Inappropriate

Yep, just ignore the environmental laws. After all, you're a "progressive" and you'll do whatever the hell you want.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:48 p.m. Inappropriate

What are you babbling about now? Can't you read; I want the City to NOT ignore environmental laws. You're an angry idiot. At least the other libertarian posters put rational thoughts together.

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 2:56 p.m. Inappropriate

@jeffro, here's hoping that you'll try to cross the railroad tracks at an oblique angle and fall over. Every time bicyclist does that in Ballard, I give thanks to Darwin. How utterly stupid, reckless, and irresponsible is your idiot bicyclist group, anyway?

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 1:59 p.m. Inappropriate

I too have ridden through the Westlake corridor many times, and it's fine if you use some good judgment. The real reason these self-righteous militants want cycle tracks appears to be to ride as fast as possible and assert psychological dominance. Why are American bike riders so aggressive? Drop the ridiculous racing regalia and calm down, and more people might agree with you.

2.3 million+ for this stuff?...and still the north end goes without sidewalks.

stan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 2:18 p.m. Inappropriate

stan

I will have to disagree with you. Those who want to ride fast have no problem with riding on Westlake and mixing it up with the cars. In fact a good portion of those riders avoid any type of cycling infrastructure because it promotes use by less experienced and slower riders that they would rather not deal with.

Squirrel

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 2:50 p.m. Inappropriate

The very worst places to ride a bicycle in this city are the bike paths and multiuse trails. In those places, we find out just how little regard bicyclists have for anyone's safety -- their own, or that of others.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 4:30 p.m. Inappropriate

NotFan the Progressive,
I will have to disagree with you. The Ship Canal Trail, Burke-Gilman, Myrtle Edwards Trail are great to use. I have had very few negative interactions with other trail users. Most people are considerate and affable. There are a few inconsiderate people, some running, some biking, some wandering aimlessly to class.
The drivers in this town are by and large very considerate, especially if you show them consideration. Roads with bike lanes seem to work much better than those without. Road users have an idea where to be and bike lanes allow motorists to safely pass cyclists with minimal conflict.
The worse places to ride are in Bellevue where there is no good infrastructure and the motorists tend to be stressed and self-absorbed in getting to a destination post-haste.

Cheers.

Squirrel

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:51 p.m. Inappropriate

You are trying to reason with an angry psychopath. The only time he is coherent and less angry is when he's having an exchange with libertarians of similar hostile perspective.

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 6:20 p.m. Inappropriate

Poor loup-poop forgot the "progressive" kumbaya pills today, so the true colors show.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 6:29 p.m. Inappropriate

yup, that's right, just didn't take enough sedatives to stop me from responding to your hateful garbage.

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 7:22 p.m. Inappropriate

It's a step forward to see you admit that you need those meds, and that you didn't take them today. But tomorrow's another day!

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 2:21 p.m. Inappropriate

I think that there is a way to find a compromise between all the users of the Westlake corridor. Preserve as much parking as possible, create a clearly delineated path for trail users so as to eliminate confusion between users, and maintain flow on Westlake.
Finally, I have written numerous EIS reports and you can't perform a comprehensive and rigorous EIS based soley on an idea. It is akin to buying 40 acres and trying to get a building permit based on the statement, "I want a house on this property." You need to have a plan outlining a preferred option with official engineering documents. Once the planning committee decides on an official plan, then the City should be held to their own standards and perform a proper EIS. A lawsuit stopping the entire bike plan seems a bit over-reaching.

Squirrel

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 2:38 p.m. Inappropriate

The "compromise" is to prohibit bicyclists from using the parking lot, and to arrest them and confiscate their toys if they do it, and to tell them to use Dexter if they want a cycle facility. They ruined the one street, and shouldn't be allowed to ruin another one.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 2:59 p.m. Inappropriate

NotFan the Progressive,
Prohibiting the use of a public ROW by the public doesn't really work towards the goals of Liberty. Since all taxpayers paid for the lot, then they have rights of access. Are their certain customers you would not allow to use the lot? Please explain how confiscation of an individuals property is not a taking by the government. While I understand that you enjoy limiting the rights and freedoms of your fellow citizens that you do not agree with, I think your logic is flawed.

Squirrel

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:28 p.m. Inappropriate

Tell that to whatever city entity has placed signs on Fremont in North Seattle indicating at signalized intersections that cars may not continue north or south but only turn east or west. I and all the other drivers have paid and continue to pay taxes for all the streets, and we should be able to use ALL the streets. I boil every time I see those signs.

mspat

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:35 p.m. Inappropriate

At least you, too, regard the term "progressive" as an insult.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:35 p.m. Inappropriate

At least you, too, regard the term "progressive" as an insult.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:35 p.m. Inappropriate

At least you, too, regard the term "progressive" as an insult.

p.s.: As much as I love my own words best of all, it was this site's software, not me, that posted the same thing three times in a row.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:59 p.m. Inappropriate

mspat--The signs on Phinney prohibiting through traffic across 36th are there at the request of the neighborhood to prevent use by (primarily) truck traffic on a long narrow street without any provision for passing. And a difficult turn at the top (39th) in either direction for any vehicle larger than a car. The residents and businesses worked together to get the new signal and flow at Evanston (the Lenin intersection) that accommodates the Quadrant Center in and out that wanted to use Phinney across 36th. Live with it; if you don't comply you endanger pedestrians, bikers and other drivers.

Are there such signs elsewhere in Fremont? I can't think of any, but there should be one at Quadrant's private street off 34th east of Fremont. In fact, that one should be right turn only coming out of Quadrant.

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 7:10 p.m. Inappropriate

mspat, if you get pulled over, just tell the cop you're visiting a friend on that road. louploup seems to live nearby.

You do pay taxes for that road, and while the neighborhood got the right to post their signs, that doesn't negate your right to explore, to visit, to see what is there.

What are the odds that you'd even be pulled over? Pretty slim.

The Phinney roads were built nearly 100 years ago, along with routes that worked for traffic flow. As more and more people come in, all wanting a quiet, rural street, conflicts arise.

What would truly be cool would be if the early 1900 trolley lines would be revived.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 7:15 p.m. Inappropriate

Live with it; if you don't comply you endanger pedestrians, bikers and other drivers.

Please watch out for pedestrians and other drivers. But if you see a bicyclist, floor it and lay on the horn. Until they pay to use the streets, they have no right to be there.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 9:01 p.m. Inappropriate

commonsenseless--The signs were not put up by the neighborhood, and the cops occasionally do enforcement. And if you cause an accident due to failure to comply, you're screwed. Go for it.

snotman--You accuse me of being off my meds? lol

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 9:47 p.m. Inappropriate

Poor loup-poop, I accuse you of nothing. You told us that you're off your meds. Tell me, does Obamacare cover what you need, or do you need one of those "dispensaries" that's about to be put out of business by the "progressive" cartel?

NotFan

Posted Sun, Jan 12, 7:01 a.m. Inappropriate

louploup, I am not discussing the signs IN Fremont, but those ON Fremont north of it. From approximately 80th north to I'm not sure where. I haven't been in the area you describe lately so can't speak to it. I sometimes prefer to take streets paralleling Aurora when traveling north/south. Usually I use Dayton, but one day I happened to choose Fremont, and that's when I saw these signs. Closing a street to vehicles so that bicycles can have it to themselves is a step too far.

mspat

Posted Sun, Jan 12, 7:01 a.m. Inappropriate

louploup, I am not discussing the signs IN Fremont, but those ON Fremont north of it. From approximately 80th north to I'm not sure where. I haven't been in the area you describe lately so can't speak to it. I sometimes prefer to take streets paralleling Aurora when traveling north/south. Usually I use Dayton, but one day I happened to choose Fremont, and that's when I saw these signs. Closing a street to vehicles so that bicycles can have it to themselves is a step too far.

mspat

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 3:11 p.m. Inappropriate

Squirrel -

Thanks for the posts but you are being way too logical for some - don't expect a serious reply.

It's like trolling for wackos. All Crosscut has to do is post an article on biking and you're sure to land one with a treble hook and no bait. Unfortunately it's the same individual trash fish you keep catching and trying to throw back.

Treker

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 3:19 p.m. Inappropriate

Treker,
Yes, but sometimes it is those fish who put up a great fight and make the entire trip worthwhile.

Squirrel

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 3:22 p.m. Inappropriate

So true. Without fail, every time Crosscut mentions a bike, a mouth-breathing crosscut keyboard commando gets his wingdings. Sociopathic cyclist death wishes in 3 ... 2... 1...

joolian

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:33 p.m. Inappropriate

Yes, but we did get rid of your favorite overfed woodchuck who warmed the mayor's chair.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 7:30 p.m. Inappropriate

is that the site's software again?

joolian

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 7:48 p.m. Inappropriate

Mikey, is that your pseudonym?

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 7:12 p.m. Inappropriate

Fish on, treker dude. Just wait till you need knee surgery and see how much you'll be bikin' along.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 7:17 p.m. Inappropriate

You fail to understand that in the eyes of Seattle's "progressives," the disabled, the infirm, and the elderly are useless eaters and should die. Neighborhoods are to be hated in proportion to the number of single-family homes and non-drug addicts who live in them, and cars are their enemy.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 9:04 p.m. Inappropriate

I still wonder why you live in Seattle. Maybe you're really in your mother's basement in Wichita Falls or something.

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 9:44 p.m. Inappropriate

I stay here just to torture you. Yep, loup-poop, it's all about you, and I am your nemesis. Kumbaya, baby! By the way, is it warm under that bridge? Rainy out tonight. Don't you think California would be better for the homeless like you?

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 3:50 p.m. Inappropriate

I do like falkenbury's idea of eliminating a majority of the ingress/egress lanes to the parking lot. Those portions of the parking lot will be converted to parking spaces to help maintain the parking status quo, while also eliminating many areas of conflict for trucks, cars on Westlake and also for trail users exploiting the area. Make all the parking spots metered and grant permits and parking validation to the residents and local businesses.

Cheers

Squirrel

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 4:34 p.m. Inappropriate

I'd agree as well. There's workable options here. The city does need to roll up its sleeves and present some solid options, however.

Treker

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 4:46 p.m. Inappropriate

Treker,
True, but that was not the point of the Bike Master Plan. It is just a guidance document to begin planning and show where further study needs to happen.
I agree with The Westlake group that the City needs to perform an EIS once a solid plan is in place. I disagree with their tactic to stop a guidance document that has no plans attached. The Westlake group should definitely be involved in the design, but they must consider all users of the corridor.

Squirrel

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 5:34 p.m. Inappropriate

They should consider those who pay taxes on each vehicle. Bicycle users pay no road use taxes for their bikes, and therefore deserve nothing.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 7:13 p.m. Inappropriate

Private property owners have the right to have their ingress and egress unshared by other properties. There is no need to take property rights away, that happens far too frequently as it is.

Bike on Dexter for Pete's sake. It's right there.

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 7:20 p.m. Inappropriate

Now that we have an avowed communist on the city clowncil, property rights are in the crosshairs.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 9:07 p.m. Inappropriate

the right to have their ingress and egress unshared by other properties Do you have a citation to support that?

Don't drive on Westlake; take your car on Dexter for Pete's sake. It's right there.

louploup

Posted Fri, Jan 10, 9:41 p.m. Inappropriate

Sorry, loup-poop but your worthless "progressive" crew already ruined Dexter. It's yours. Enjoy your creation. But no, now you want to trash another street, which shows that your zealotry was never about bicycles but was always about the "progressive" war on cars. Knowing how things go in Seattle, you'll probably get your way, but hopefully it'll cost you another one of your buddy mayors.

NotFan

Posted Sat, Jan 11, 11:55 a.m. Inappropriate

I'm not sure what "ruined" Dexter means. That's one of the thoroughfares that is wide enough to accommodate vehicle traffic and bikes no problem. Now you could make a substantial argument for some other less than optimal suggestions in the Master Plan - such as the cycle track for NE 65th Street adjacent to the light rail station. Too much density, too much car traffic to squeeze it down to one lane each way from two lanes during rush hour.

But you are correct - doesn't matter who the mayor is the bulk of the bike master plan will be implemented. Have you ground down your molars yet?

Lily32

Posted Sat, Jan 11, 2:10 p.m. Inappropriate

They purposely re-engineered Dexter to make it difficult for cars. Every time a bus stops on that street, all traffic halts behind it, because they took a lane out in each direction. It's a disaster, because the "progressives" decided they'd make it an example of their war on cars.

Yeah, I know it won't matter who the mayor is. The "progressives" of Seattle hate the way much of the people here live. Of course, on the other hand, I think more and more bicyclists are finding out the downside of all this, as more and more of them find themselves the target of random acts of unkindness.

What goes around does come around, one way or another.

NotFan

Posted Sat, Jan 11, 4:15 p.m. Inappropriate

I'm not sure its worth my effort to add a comment at the bottom of this long string of comments, but here it goes.

My credentials for making this comment are as follows: (1) For 12 years, as a resident on Westlake, I parked in the parking lots in question. (2) Currently I sometimes cycle through the parking lots on my way to the south end of Lake Union.

I absolutely do not see why a "cycle track" is necessary for safe cycling. If one rides the parking lots at a moderate speed and with awareness of vehicle movements, its a very safe ride.

I agree with a comment made above, the only thing a cycle track will do is allow the fast riders to ride even faster. That is not worth the loss of parking spaces to Westlake businesses and residents!

Posted Sat, Jan 11, 11:10 p.m. Inappropriate

It's worth the effort. The "progressives" here will ignore you, but it's always worth it, because they are ultra-sensitive to anyone who pierces their veil of self-regarding bullshit and tells the truth.

It's not about a cycle track. The sole intent is to block motor vehicle traffic and/or make it harder to have a motor vehicle here. Only a handful of cyclists -- the nasty nijas -- will conceivably benefit, but the "progressives" will rejoice in ruining another street. That's their sole aim in all of this.

NotFan

Posted Sun, Jan 12, 1:14 a.m. Inappropriate

I live in the area and totally agree. Bicycling through Westlake is safe at a reasonable speed. These people want to build some sort of bike highway ...

Posted Sun, Jan 12, 9:45 p.m. Inappropriate

@Counterbalance, they actually don't care much about bikes. This is entirely about making it harder and harder to drive a car here. The "progressives" hate cars and their owners, except when it comes time to stick us with higher fees. The rest of the time, they are fighting a war against us in every way they can.

NotFan

Posted Sun, Jan 12, 1:09 a.m. Inappropriate

I have had the privilege of living (Nickerson), riding a bike, and playing in the area for the last decade. In the summers I'll commute though to Renton on my bike (but I mostly drive).

As a bicyclist, I feel disconnected from the so called "bike community" and the Bike Master Plan. Bicycling is wonderful, but is it not a sustainable substitute for cars (especially for people with physical challenges such as MS that rely on auto's for personal independence). From the environmental perspective, I see a time when auto's use very little gas and eventually switch to electricity ... however, auto's will always need good roads.

I generally split my commutes through Westlake and Dexter. I feel Westlake is safe as long as the bicyclist ride as walking speed, and I feel that Dexter has become less safe because bicyclist speed through at rates that cannot be controlled, and are more vulnerable to "left hand turns" then before the "road diet". On the same note, I think Nickerson is less safe for bicycling after the "road diet".

As a driver I have seen a steady deterioration of my commute, and accessibility to business since the road diets hit the area.

So the bottom line is that bike improvements to Dexter cost a substantial sum of money and the city needs to stand by it as its primary North-South bike route; however, with outreach a solution to Westlake could be had ... it will require listening to the concerns of the businesses, divers, residents, and bicyclists (not attached to the Cascade Bike Club), and building trust.

Posted Sun, Jan 12, 9:13 p.m. Inappropriate

Good point on what it will take to reach consensus on Westlake. Some (like angry posters on any blog about bikes in Seattle) will never agree, but they are a small minority. However, asking bikes to go at "walking speed" doesn't make sense on a major commuter route.

I never understood the Nickerson "road diet" to be for bikes. There is a parallel trail along the Canal. The big problems for bikes are at the ends where you have to get on sidewalks to cross the Fremont Bridge, or onto the ramp with fast cars under the Ballard Bridge to head south on 15th to get to Intebay trail (or go a long way around).

louploup

Posted Sun, Jan 12, 9:49 p.m. Inappropriate

Poor, "progressive" loup-poop, telling whatever lie sounds good as it sits at the keyboard. The "small minority" just tossed out loup-poop's favorite "progressive" mayor Mikey McGinn, and we'll do the same again.

p.s.: Don't accept loup-poop's protests about not having liked McGinn. Like other "progressives," loup-poop waited until McGinn was toast to declare "opposition."

NotFan

Posted Mon, Jan 13, 1:17 p.m. Inappropriate

I smell something... oh it's you...

louploup

Posted Mon, Jan 13, 1:33 p.m. Inappropriate

@loup-poop, I think I smell something on my shoe. Why, I must have stepped in one of your "progressive" comments!

NotFan

Posted Mon, Jan 13, 2:23 a.m. Inappropriate

More important, says Goldstein, “60 percent of the people in the city want to bike more. It’s a matter of health, safety and mobility.”

Thanks to “joolian” for posting the link to results of the survey itself. You should all take the time to check it out.

http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Seattle-Voter-Attitudes-on-Bicycling.pdf

Strikes me that the seriousness of the query was couched on the same level as, say, “Do you like ice cream; would you like to eat more of it”. Well sure, why not.

How about some questions like, “Would you be willing to pay your share of HALF A BILLION DOLLARS for the ability to bike more? “Would YOU ride your bike to work regularly?” “Would you ride your bike to the center of the city?” “Would you be willing to drive on roads whose repair budgets were spent on building bicycle tracks to accommodate your occasional, fair weather biking?”

From the survey, only 45% of the pollees ride more frequently than “a few times a year”, so what do they know about serious biking.

Now, let’s look at the details of the survey as to WHY the pollees do not ride more. 37 percent of those polled said that not feeling safe is a major factor, which at least implies that only 22% of the population polled felt seriously unsafe.

Of the other major reasons for not riding more (presumably for serious transportation needs, not just for occasional fair-weather recreation on Bicycle Sundays and the like), they ranged from 55% citing the weather, through lesser percentages for distance, terrain, logistics, comfort, social isolation, to lack of physical capability at 17%. For the latter, they need a Doctor, not a bicycle track. Ignore their druthers entirely; that’s 10% of the pollees.

Since 55% cited weather, 60% may WANT to ride more, but only 33% are going to be doing it in the rain, which is to say, nominally between October and May.
Only 5% said the weather was not a factor – in a word, “the macho Spandex morons”.

It’s not possible to determine quantitatively from the data how much overlap existed between each person’s reasons for not riding more. At the minimum, 55% had serious reservations.

If each person submitted only a distinct one of the reasons, no one would ride more often, so obviously, some in the pollees had more than one reason for not riding. That might well preclude them from significant frequency of riding at all – certainly not enough to justify ripping up the road grid at enormous expense to gratify their penchant for infrequent use of a bike, especially since riding around the neighborhood is not going to be abetted by the plan for creating veritable “bicycle freeways”.

Yet the surveyors conclude that “making streets safer for all transportation users is a top priority for Seattle voters”. Really??

kmeyer

Posted Mon, Jan 13, 7:41 a.m. Inappropriate

Thank you for a thought provoking and humorous reply. It's a refreshing overview compared to the vile spew arm-waving, typical no, no, hell no responses.

And it does put the survey and spending priorities in perspective.

Lily32

Posted Wed, Jan 15, 10:21 p.m. Inappropriate

is it ironic that the former Interurban right of way (transit) is now used for free parking?

eddiew

Posted Sun, Jan 19, 12:04 p.m. Inappropriate

Three points:

(1)-Kudos to Eric Scigliano for an outstanding job of investigative reporting. I'm linking his piece and its associated thread in my blog this week, so my readers – about half of whom are in Europe – can see the Ayn Rand selfishness and political cowardice that lurks beneath the Big Lie of “progressive” Seattle.

(2)-The associated thread is a perfect example of the reactionary, malevolently auto-centric hatefulness that -- in Seattle as in Tacoma -- invariably rises to the surface of Pugetopolis political cesspool to obstruct any and all improvements in public transport.

(3)-No wonder this viciously benighted region is increasingly known as Mississippi West; no doubt there'll soon be a Kar Kookx Klan, burning pedestrian-crossing signs and bike-lane markers on transport advocates' lawns.

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