‘Rechannelization’ for SW Alaska? Your chance to comment

July 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm | In Transportation, Triangle, West Seattle news | 68 Comments

A proposal for “rechannelization” of SW Alaska between The Triangle and The Junction first came up back in February (we featured it in this story) – taking away some street parking, and cutting down on car-travel lanes, while adding a bike lane from Fauntleroy to west of 41st SW. It has only been discussed once in public since then – at a recent Southwest District Council meeting – but now SDOT is officially asking for public comment:

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has developed plans to re-channelize SW Alaska Street between California Avenue and 35th Avenue to support the planned RapidRide C Line which is scheduled to begin service in fall 2012. SDOT is proposing to make the following changes to SW Alaska Street:

· Install a westbound left turn pocket at California Avenue and SW Alaska Street
· Install an eastbound left turn pocket at 42nd Avenue SW and SW Alaska Street
· Install an eastbound business access and transit Lane (BAT) between 42nd Avenue SW and 40th Avenue SW
· Install a westbound BAT between Fauntleroy Avenue and 42nd Avenue SW
· Install a westbound bicycle lane between Fauntleroy Way and approximately 30 feet west of 41st Avenue SW
· Remove parking on the north side of SW Alaska Street between California Avenue SW and 41st Avenue SW

SDOT INVITES PUBLIC COMMENT UP TO JULY 31, 2011

Jonathan Dong
Email: jonathan.dong@seattle.gov
Phone: (206) 233-8564

The proposal is laid out on this city webpage, with some diagrams laid over aerial shots of the streets.

68 Comments

  1. Maybe the city should take the $ for this re-channelization and apply it to traffic personnel for the Ferry dock.

    Comment by Dale — 1:22 pm July 15, 2011 #

  2. Another ridiculous idea from people who clearly have never driven the route at rush hour..

    Comment by oddreality — 1:27 pm July 15, 2011 #

  3. My email to Mr Dong.
    Mr Dong:

    Please don’t.

    This is not going to improve traffic flow.

    I know you have a tough
    job trying to balance all the constituencies: bicyclists, car drivers
    and bus riders,
    but that route is a major artery out of West Seattle to downtown.

    Between the viaduct lane closures, 1st avenue construction, low bridge
    construction,
    Alaskan way construction (downtown) we (West Seattle drivers) are
    getting squeezed
    more and more.

    It is starting to feel like an all out assault on car drivers. I know
    that the mayor
    is in favor of reducing car trips, but if this kind of thing continues
    car trips will
    decrease but it will be because people like me will give up and move
    out of the area
    to some place with less congestion.

    No. Please no.

    Thank you

    Comment by Jack — 1:35 pm July 15, 2011 #

  4. Thumbs up from me. We all overuse our cars. And this section of Alaska couldn’t be more pedestrian and bike unfriendly than it is now.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 1:43 pm July 15, 2011 #

  5. well, I’m not driving these days, so maybe my opinion doesn’t count, but..I’m with Mr. Boffoli. Alaska is crazy right now…and change could be good. Especially eliminating the parking on the north side between 40th and Calif.

    Comment by JanS — 1:50 pm July 15, 2011 #

  6. This is sick. Look closely at the photo rendering and click on the links. Alaska becomes one through lane in each direction in most places and north side street parking is lost as far west as California.

    Comment by dsa — 1:59 pm July 15, 2011 #

  7. I think this is a good idea because:

    - enabling bikes to use this route safely means fewer cars.
    - re-striping/re-channelization is cheap, since it doesn’t involve tearing up the road.
    - one of the two blocks that would lose parking is front of the QFC, which has its own parking garage.

    JJ
    driver, biker, and pedestrian

    Comment by JJ — 2:04 pm July 15, 2011 #

  8. With government cutting programs and services right and left, it’s amazing that there’s this impetus to create more bike lanes everywhere. It’s even more amazing considering that I won’t see even a single cyclist for *days* from October to April and, even during the summer, the ratio of bikes to cars doesn’t seem to justify the bike lanes.

    There are streets all over this city in need of pothole-filling and/or repaving and sidewalks that are so overgrown with foliage that at least one person has put video on YouTube. But if someone wants a bike lane, there’s ACTION! Seriously…does the bicycle mafia have naked pics of someone important?

    Making it difficult to drive in Seattle is not going to push people onto bikes or into a bus; it’s going to create more aggressive (and unlawful) drivers and more incidences of road rage.

    Comment by NFiorentini — 2:04 pm July 15, 2011 #

  9. just my experience, but i think removing that parking is a great idea. i see parallel parking cars causing backups there quite often.

    Comment by rob — 2:05 pm July 15, 2011 #

  10. When SDOT asks for comments it’s code for ‘we’ll ask to make you feel like you are contributing but we know what we are going to do’. I’ve given up.

    Comment by gatewood — 2:05 pm July 15, 2011 #

  11. All they’re really proposing is adding turn lanes and bike lanes, that will greatly improve traffic flow because it will get turning cars and bicycles out of the traffic lanes.

    Comment by godofthebasement — 2:07 pm July 15, 2011 #

  12. It looks to me like an IMPROVEMENT for car traffic. All you have to do is say the word “bicycle” for certain people to see red and stop thinking. If you actually look at the plans, it’s not really about bikes.

    What I don’t see is much to improve the lot of pedestrians. Can they come up with a plan that makes this safer and more pleasant for walkers?

    Comment by J — 2:33 pm July 15, 2011 #

  13. Bicyclists need to start paying for tabs for their bikes if they expect to get more and more roads. This is getting ridiculous and our Mayor is an idiot!

    Comment by 4thgenWS — 2:43 pm July 15, 2011 #

  14. Gatewood – The Admiral rechannelization actually DID change after public comment went overwhelmingly against the proposal – so if you feel strongly about something, please don’t ever give up. I’ll add links here in a minute in case you don’t believe me :)
    .
    (added)
    .
    Original proposal:
    http://westseattleblog.com/2010/07/happening-now-admiral-way-rechannelization-open-house
    .
    Final plan:
    http://westseattleblog.com/2010/09/admiral-way-restriping

    Comment by WSB — 2:45 pm July 15, 2011 #

  15. Click on the links and count the lanes. I see four total one of which has to be a BAT lane.
    SDOT site says: Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes to allow buses to bypass traffic congestion. And this: Install an eastbound business access and transit Lane (BAT) between 42nd Avenue SW and 40th Avenue SW

    Comment by dsa — 2:51 pm July 15, 2011 #

  16. As stated by Jonathon Dong the proposed re-channelization is: “to support the planned RapidRide C Line which is scheduled to begin service in fall 2012.”
    .
    My question to Jonathon was “Can you show impact statements for this part of the C line? What happens to traffic flow with the implementation of the re-channelization? More importantly perhaps, what happens to the C line if you Don’t re-channel this corridor?” Still waiting for those.
    .
    It appears to be based on speculation. What could possibly go wrong? I’d prefer not to find out.

    Comment by mcbride — 2:57 pm July 15, 2011 #

  17. Sounds like a great idea! It would make it safer for pedestrians and bus riders! woohoo!

    Comment by Want to feel safe — 3:37 pm July 15, 2011 #

  18. NO.

    Comment by Nick — 3:42 pm July 15, 2011 #

  19. thanks for setting me straight.

    Comment by gatewood — 3:51 pm July 15, 2011 #

  20. 4thgenWS
    1 hr, 11 mins ago
    Bicyclists need to start paying for tabs for their bikes if they expect to get more and more roads. This is getting ridiculous and our Mayor is an idiot!

    Car tabs don’t pay for the streets we drive on. Sales, property and income tax pay for most of the cost, and gas tax picks up about 9%.

    Comment by Rob — 3:59 pm July 15, 2011 #

  21. I am not against re-channelization just yet but I would like to know more about why these changes are deemed necessary. I know there will be lots of disruption from the new construction going up in this area soon. (parking & traffic). I want the area to remain vibrant and viable and convenient for business growth.

    The BAT lanes on Elliott Ave were a disaster and really mucked up traffic. SDOt made some adjustments but only after massive complaints and Sdot originally dismissing concerns. The signage was so confusing too.

    Comment by Bus rider — 4:06 pm July 15, 2011 #

  22. If we look at the history of rechannelizations across the city, there is invariably mud-slinging from drivers worried about increased congestion. Then after the fact… nothing changes. Traffic moves just as before, and safety for all users increases. See Stone Way, Nickerson, Fauntleroy, etc. If those projects are any indication, this will be a great improvement to the neighborhood.

    Comment by Jake — 4:15 pm July 15, 2011 #

  23. No more damn bike lanes; they’re a waste of perfectly good paint. Another mindless “fix” from the SDOT of Mayor McCannondale.

    Comment by OP — 4:16 pm July 15, 2011 #

  24. what Jake said !

    Nothing about this will prevent people form going to the junction. There are free parking lots, lots of street parking, no pay stations. For goodness sake, you all act like this will kill the business district, and make you never drive on this street again. We all know differently.

    Comment by JanS — 4:21 pm July 15, 2011 #

  25. Another proposal from a City that plans in piecemeal fashion. I am one of the big bike supporters in WS…, but this continual piecemeal form of planning is NOT addressing the combined traffic, bike, and ped problems. I fear that this will result in worse conditions for everyone.

    West Seattle should insist that a Traffic Impact study be conducted that shows what life will be like in each of the next 5-7 years with this proposal.

    WS wake up — while the national economic conditions are affecting our property values — this traffic effect is having an even bigger effect. Just ask anyone looking to buy a home — many will not even entertain WS because of the traffic problems here. This insanity has to stop and a macro and micro review must be conducted.

    Comment by NicePerson — 4:23 pm July 15, 2011 #

  26. Don’t take away parking. The businesses along that stretch depend on it. I’m not opposed to changes to make any road more bike friendly, but not at the expense of residents and business.

    Comment by rw — 4:27 pm July 15, 2011 #

  27. Oh come on! No more bike lanes…they can move to the side streets because they are already snarling traffic. How much did it cost the city to put that ridiculous “up hill” bike lane on Admiral Way…Since it has opened I’ve seen 3 bikers peddling up it…many more on the sidewalk heading up hill. I drive it 2-3 times a day. McSchwinn is a solid candidate for a one term mayor…when are we going to return some normalcy to this once great city?
    AND license those two wheelers, if they expect to use my road! Enough is enough!

    Comment by John Enger — 4:29 pm July 15, 2011 #

  28. Jake makes a point that has been made frequently lately. I was remiss not to point out one thing in the story, and this can be considered by people who feel either way: Unlike, say, the Fauntleroy rechannelization, which indeed has NOT resulted in the gridlock that some fretted it would – this is going through an area where dramatic change is happening, in terms of increased density and added residents and businesses. RapidRide, the impetus for this, is meant to address that to some degree. And certainly, no one’s to say they’re all bringing cars. But in the few discussions that have been had on this so far, that’s come up – the Conner project, whatever The Hole turns into, the impending upzoning of parcels south of Alaska on Fauntleroy, the new Harbor development (Nova) in The Triangle, again. Just for a bit of context that I’m sorry I failed to include in the story, for The Big Picture. In that sense, it IS different from the others – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:40 pm July 15, 2011 #

  29. I think it is a good idea, taking the parking to add more room to the buses to move through more efficiently. the buses going through there always seem to take up more than 1 lane. the turn lanes are going to be a good help too.

    as far as all the free parking lots, though…when that new building goes up (doesn’t it have less than 1 space per unit) it will be harder than it already is to find a space in the free lots or nearby streets.

    Comment by sam-c — 4:44 pm July 15, 2011 #

  30. Still further evidence of the death of West Seattle…will someone please start a recall effort against this Mayor? (and I use the term lightly, he’s not governing at all), just caving in to his lefty enviro bike nazi pals… Of course we can’t get rid of him — like my good friend Ed Murray says when he was asked if he would consider running for mayor: he said he was thinking about it. Then he made an interesting comment. He said, “What I’m not sure is whether the left in this city will continue to turn their guns on people who are not as left as they are.”

    Comment by GRG — 4:53 pm July 15, 2011 #

  31. I love it because the Nimbys hate it! Good job keeping the reactionary fear of change alive folks!

    Comment by Peter on Fauntleroy — 5:11 pm July 15, 2011 #

  32. I do not understand how people can feel safe or the city can think it is safe for people to ride bikes in a “sharrow” lane with cars.

    City drivers face all sorts of routine distractions, and many of them use cell phones while driving. It seems almost suicidal to travel by bike in these conditions.

    Personally, I do not ride my bike on any street with “sharrows.” I use the side streets, and if bike travel on an arterial is unavoidable, I use the sidewalk for a few blocks.

    Little gimmicks like a temporary bus lane are not going to improve bus service. Buses are late because of overall congestion, which is only made worse by Seattle’s obsession with social engineering rather than improving traffic flow.

    Comment by JoAnne — 5:22 pm July 15, 2011 #

  33. I’m really only worried about the street parking. If you live in a house or apartment near the junction, parking is going to be scarce. With all these new Apartment/Condo buildings going in it’s going to be a nightmare.

    Comment by Wes C. Addle — 5:23 pm July 15, 2011 #

  34. A few thoughts…

    Agreed…the uphill Admiral Way bike lane is a joke…what a waste of money! But I love my downhill sharrow…Wheeeee!

    But really who says there aren’t enough cyclist out there to warrant bike lanes??? What rock have you been under? In fact there are lots of cyclists out there and we could recruit more if only the city would provide MORE bike lanes to keep cyclists safe. AND if motorists would learn to share the road better. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve heard people say “I would ride my bike but I don’t feel safe”.

    About charging cyclist for using “YOUR” roads…that is the same ludicrous idea I’ve heard so many times before. Are you kidding…YOU should be paying us or at very least give us your appreciation and kind consideration because…We don’t pollute YOUR air, we do not tear up YOUR streets, we allow better traffic flow on YOUR commute because each cyclist is one less car in YOUR way. Mr. John Enger, you need to get over yourself.

    Reducing single occupancy cars has got to be a top priority. Designing our streets so that mass transit, carpools ,cyclist and pedestrians have priority is a good start. Making city streets safe for vulnerable users of the roadways is paramount to that.

    Our City will not be great until we address our transportation issues in ways that are creative and reduce the high numbers of single occupancy vehicles.

    BTW…sign the petition in support of adding $20 to vehicle license so as to protect Metro and prevent cuts to bus service.

    http://signon.org/sign/prevent-metro-transit?source=mo&id=28841-9488239-uHvBcix&t=2

    Comment by bike2work — 5:38 pm July 15, 2011 #

  35. As a cyclist who uses this stretch of Alaskan every weekday, yes! (BTW: I also use Admiral bike lane…just because you don’t see a cyclist when you drive it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. I don’t see red chevy 4×4 trucks every day but that doesn’t mean people don’t drive them.) I’m a little concerned about what looks like the westbound bike lane at Fauntleroy being positioned to the right of a right turn only lane (it should be placed between a right turn only lane and the straight/left lane). I’d also like to see sharrows in the left/straight lane since it’s difficult to get over there to Fauntleroy to continue south.

    Alaskan is not a crowded street. It’s a very wide one lane each way now. It will remain a one-way each way afterwards with improved crossings for peds, defined space for buses and cyclists rather than the confusion that sometimes results during evening rush hour now. It’s a win for everyone.

    About the parking – I think the city is looking at making some of the parking, esp. in front of the Drs. offices allowable for most of the day, which is an improvement.

    Comment by Al — 6:31 pm July 15, 2011 #

  36. Hey John Enger, I hope that you realize that bicyclists are not causing traffic snarls, CARS ARE! If more people rode their bikes or used transit, your drive would be much more pleasant. And regarding the continuing comments on how people don’t see bicyclists, so we shouldn’t put in bike lanes, I never see any cars driving in the woods because, get this, THERE ISN’T ANY INFRASTRUCTURE. And that is the key here. If you build safe, effective bike lanes, people will use them. I’ve had enough of selfish, lazy people polluting the air just because they don’t want to either walk to the bus stop or ride a bike.

    Comment by JN — 7:19 pm July 15, 2011 #

  37. this is ridiculous! add multi-story apartment/condo buildings, more stores (QFC, Trader Joes, etc.), dramatically increase the number of people living/shopping in the area, then reduce car lanes??? this will not force people to quit driving. it will force people to either sit in horrible traffic, or move. you can’t bully people into giving up their cars by making traffic worse.

    Comment by dandelion — 7:21 pm July 15, 2011 #

  38. Okay, everybody off John Enger’s roads!

    Comment by J — 8:07 pm July 15, 2011 #

  39. The State requires cars to be licensed AND insured to use the roads,if the bike riders wish to do both of these things to their bikes along with actually obeying the traffic and helmet laws,you know stop at lights,signal when you wish to turn,those kind of basic things then fell free to share the road.But please stop acting so smug and uppity and entitled,if I want that I can move to Bellevue or San Francisco.

    Comment by Bolvar — 8:11 pm July 15, 2011 #

  40. Good to see the usual “sky is falling” folks recite their nonsenscial pap. The earth will not stop turning and this will work just as other re-channel projects have. Time to get over yourselves and lighten up a bit.

    Comment by Chris — 8:23 pm July 15, 2011 #

  41. Ban bikes. That’s all I have to say. Let them ride the Alki trail.

    Comment by Anomie 2 — 8:31 pm July 15, 2011 #

  42. I am guessing by your name Anomie 2 that you are a two-year old because that is what a two-year might say. Take a look around. you might see some bikes on the road. You can thank them for freeing up space for you.

    Comment by Chris — 9:05 pm July 15, 2011 #

  43. Ban cars. That’s all I have to say. Let them drive on the Pacific Raceways track.

    Comment by JN — 10:37 pm July 15, 2011 #

  44. Guess I need to start riding my bicycle to work, no worries, it’s only 2hrs and 45 minutes each way. That’s only 5.5 hrs of my day I’d spend commuting if I take my bicycle. Yup, bikes work for everything. Like hauling 70,000 lbs of frozen herring across the bridge…
    .
    Also, the bus route to my work is 2 hrs and then I get to walk 3 miles (each way).
    .
    I’m fine with cyclist sharing the road with cars, if they can follow the laws of the road and keep up with traffic. There are many drivers that should do better with giving cyclist extra room. There are many cyclists that need to learn to ride on the road better. The cycling ‘lane’ we see in West Seattle is a joke. It’s like putting an imaginary bubble around you. What we need are legitimate paved trails for cyclist to use when commuting that don’t have cars on them. Using a chunk of a lane that cars drive on is stupid. If you can keep up with traffic and follow the laws while riding, more power to that cyclist. The number of cyclists to driving commuters is a fraction of a percent. Cyclists are not freeing up traffic, unemployment is.

    Comment by Mike — 11:22 pm July 15, 2011 #

  45. Do the people who harp about taxing cyclists also propose that we tax pedestrians? They don’t pay for those sidewalks they use after all.
    .
    Speaking as a daily bicycle commuter who owns a car and a house, I am all too happy to have my car tabs and property taxes go towards funding further bicycle infrastructure projects — projects which, by the way, amount to a drop in the bucket when compared against the amount of money spent of automobile-centric projects. In fact, the residents of Seattle voted in 2006 to pay for a property-tax increase that included the requirement that, wherever possible, road projects include new bike and pedestrian facilities (Proposition 1).
    .
    And for those of you who might say “well, *I* didn’t vote for that property tax increase”, welcome to democracy.

    Comment by 2wheels-a-go-go — 11:56 pm July 15, 2011 #

  46. I’m not a big fan of the buses driving right up along the sidewalks in such a pedestrian friendly area. Bus drivers are not very careful when they are trying to make it to their next stop on time. I like the buffer of a row of parked cars between where the buses are and the sidewalk. When walking on AK by the bus stop in the junction I’m extra careful not to get too close to the sidewalk edge as those buses pull in very fast. Not a fan of adding more bus only lanes (that’s what the BAT lanes are, right?)

    Comment by ttt — 8:55 am July 16, 2011 #

  47. which road is yours, john anger?
    .
    GRG: you can start a recall at any time. i wish you all would stop talking about it and do it already. i’m tired of the whining.
    .
    i don’t understand why the “NASCAR school of driving” crowd thinks that seattle wants to force people out of cars. SDOT is giving people more options for getting around, not fewer, and they’re attempting to make the roads safer and cleaner for all users. there’s a reason why they call them “traffic calming” measures.
    .
    maybe if you didn’t see your vehicle as some kind of status/phallic symbol, you would realize that not everyone can afford to drive everywhere, every day. some people can’t afford to drive anywhere, on any day.
    .
    i welcome lane reductions, because i’m sick of how a lot of you drive like you have something to prove. keep it up. it’s only a matter of time before you wipe out a cyclist. or a 4-year-old in a crosswalk. all because someone cut you off, took your parking spot, or has a bigger hemi than you.

    Comment by redblack — 8:56 am July 16, 2011 #

  48. and i see from the pictures on SDOT’s web site that they’re putting the schucks back in. ;)

    Comment by redblack — 9:09 am July 16, 2011 #

  49. It’s consistently clear from comments on this website that most people who drive have no business operating heavy machinery.

    Comment by austin — 9:10 am July 16, 2011 #

  50. RB – The aerials, we pointed out to SDOT some weeks back, are at least four years old. I think if you look closely at another section, you’ll see the Hollywood Video that used to be on the site now held by Capco Plaza (QFC, etc.). – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:16 am July 16, 2011 #

  51. How does this work out in an evacuation emergency? Say a large fire or another big earthquake? The narrower we make these roadways, the less ably we can evacuate in a crisis.

    Comment by Lola — 10:01 am July 16, 2011 #

  52. No more bike lanes. If they can use the car lanes like they do everywhere else.

    Comment by wsjeep — 10:14 am July 16, 2011 #

  53. All this over re-lining a street (which it needs)? Why do you West Seattle right wingers have to turn EVERYTHING into an attack bicycles? Bikers pay taxes just like everyone else AND don’t cause wear and tear on our roads AND reduce traffic congestion AND don’t pollute our air, all of which SAVES MONEY for the city and for drivers. So stop the inane nonsense about “bicycles not paying their share” because it is just not true. If anyone should pay more it’s the drivers who cause traffic congestion and damage our roads and pollute our air.

    Comment by Peter on Fauntleroy — 10:18 am July 16, 2011 #

  54. Bikes cause plenty of air pollution and congestion, since huge lines of cars get stuck behind them in traffic when they can’t pass. This happens on Admiral way every single day.

    Bikes should not be in the same lane with cars. It’s not safe for the bicyclist and it’s dangerous for the drivers and pedestrians who have to cope with constant passing of bikes by cars on busy city streets.

    Comment by JoAnne — 11:23 am July 16, 2011 #

  55. I do not ride my bike in car traffic because I do not believe that my trip takes precedent over everyone else’s just because I happen to be riding my bike.

    Comment by JoAnne — 11:25 am July 16, 2011 #

  56. I hope at the end of this we aren’t told that everything was tried but we have to loose the ALL WAYS WALK.

    and

    Bikes should ALWAYS use bells on sidewalks, saying “on your left/right” gets lost in the street noise. The only alternative would be riding bikes at walking speed on side walks. :)

    Comment by walk — 11:53 am July 16, 2011 #

  57. @JoAnne, judging from your comment it appears that you believe that cars take precedent over bicycles. Sorry to burst your bubble, but driving a car takes up WAY more space than a bicycle and deserves no more consideration. And your previous comment that bicycles cause air pollution? Are you serious? You do realize that the only thing on the road spewing soot into the air is a car, right? I mean, I have never been passed by a bicycle that shoots a nice puff of exhaust into my face, but every single car has (except for the electric cars.) And I challenge you to take a photo of a (sober) bicyclist causing a traffic jam anywhere. If you want, though, I can provide plenty of photos of cars sitting in traffic polluting the air simply because everyone seems to think that they need to drive.

    Comment by JN — 1:16 pm July 16, 2011 #

  58. In addition, is everyone here illiterate, or do you all see “bicycle lane” and go crazy? There is only going to be a bicycle lane for 2 blocks and thirty feet on the uphill section of Alaska. So, I don’t really understand all of the vitriol directed toward cyclists when we are talking about a specific case here that will have little, if any, effect on your commute.

    Comment by JN — 1:20 pm July 16, 2011 #

  59. It is INSANE to ride your bike on the street. Heck, it is insane to drive your car on the street. Strange thing that we humans do, get in a box of glass and metal and boogie around inches from each other and hoping that the other guy doesn’t wander out of his lane. To join the madness in your bicycle is just plain stupid. I am sorry to say it but it is true. I don’t know what the solution is but I will guarantee that neither me or my family would ever put ourselves in such a risky situation.

    Comment by Likebikes — 4:05 pm July 16, 2011 #

  60. Ahhhhh…bicyclists! It’s what you get after taking the most religiously pious of the holier-than-thous and the exaggerated numbers (of course, without actually having to *be* more than 1% of road usage) and you combine these things with the talent to induce guilt in those who’d rather not pedal to and from the grocery store and ridiculously tight shorts.

    So if I become a cyclist, which one of you will help me choose the proper cycling shorts? Advertising my parents’ religious affiliation while not risking that ticket for indecent exposure…surely no easy task for the novice and I sure could use the help of more experienced cyclists. And, while we’re talking about cycling attire, when do I get issued my yellow shirt so that I can also pretend to be Lance Armstrong (Peace Be Upon Him)? Mostly, I cannot wait until I also have politicians that ignore the majority in order to cater to my whims. Bicycle lanes are a nice start. I want deep tissue massage/bicycle-waxing stations (union labor, of course) alongside our lanes and I don’t care what other city program has to go unfunded in order to make that happen. We’re special, dammit!

    I also have a good memory, so the secret handshake and password will be a breeze! But for the initiation, two questions: 1)Does the mayor paddle hard and 2)If he does, do I have to wear the shorts?

    kthx!

    Comment by NFiorentini — 4:10 pm July 16, 2011 #

  61. Are you kidding me, thinking cyclists are demanding (and need to wear lycra shorts)? Motorists have been severely taxing the nations funds for a century now. And btw, I don’t own a car, yet I still have to pay for freeways that are exorbitantly expensive to build and maintain, yet I cannot use them. And you get all in a huff over a few feet of road space (which we are PERFECTLY entitled to, considering cyclists pay just as much money that goes towards roads that motorists do) and some paint. And the crybabies and whiners are who again?

    Comment by JN — 5:26 pm July 16, 2011 #

  62. I can’t wait until the non cycling public forgets about Lance Armstrong and calls me any other Pro Tour American Cyclist. Like Tyler Farrar, (who is a Washingtonian) or Tejay or even Dave Zabriskie. LA is retired and gone (soon to be in jail?) Get a little more up with the time on your supposed insults toward my sport or my choice of riding attire.

    Thanks Bro!

    Comment by Velo_nut — 9:59 am July 17, 2011 #

  63. Whatever JN, it’s pretty simple logic that causing cars to jam up creates pollution by causing cars to jam up. People understand what they want to understand I guess.

    It’s not a matter of which type of transportation has precedence, but of whether having both modes of transportation on the same road is safe or sensible. I think most people agree that it is neither.

    Comment by JoAnne — 4:08 pm July 17, 2011 #

  64. Well JoAnne, the only vehicle on the road making it unsafe is…..get this…..cars. Bicycles aren’t killing 33,000 people per year. And please stop mentioning bicycles and pollution in the same breath, since you drive a car. Your hypocrisy apparently knows no bounds, and you apparently are unable to understand that when a freeway gets clogged, you have no bicycles in sight to blame. So tell me again, how do bicycles cause traffic jams?

    Comment by JN — 12:25 am July 18, 2011 #

  65. I for one am excited about this next step in the transition of West Seattle to a less car-friendly neighborhood. The harder it is to drive a car, the less people will want do it, and the demand for quick and cheap public transportation will increase. 50 or 100 years from now, West Seattleites will be able to zip quietly and cleanly downtown, or to any part of the city, in the comfort of light rail. This entire comment thread seems to be evidence in favor of this type of transit. Our city is growing, and as the population grows, density will increase and you’ll no longer be able to roar around in your huge, dirty, noisy personal transportation machine. If you want the car-centered lifestyle, with six lane arterials and acres of parking, go move to the suburbs.

    Comment by BUBBLES — 8:27 am July 18, 2011 #

  66. All this fuss over a few feet of bike lane. Who needs TV?

    Comment by datamuse — 10:44 am July 18, 2011 #

  67. Datamuse – I’m with you! This comment thread is down-right amusing! What a food fight! I’ll have to look for re-zoning comment threads next!

    Comment by West-is-Best — 3:35 pm July 18, 2011 #

  68. All of the problems discussed above really stem from the dismantleing of Seattles light rail system earlier in the last century. Buses cars and bikes and pedestrians all add congestion it is foolish to think you are of the group that doesn’t. When you take out whatever mode of transport be used what is left are people going from point A to point B. Everyone of these group has individuals that exaserbate the problem by not obeying traffic laws. Buses take up more than one lane(as Seattles streats are desined for horses pedestrians and trains), cyclists randomly pop between vehicle lanes and sidewalks often run lights and when traffic is heavy they add to congestion as much as any car, drivers often about as if they indeed do own the road either by ignoring others right or by beligerently going slow. And people take time to cross streets. The fact is that under the current system everyone has the right to use public roads for travel. If cyclists think cars should be banned well they must not know someone that is unable to bike or walk. If busers think everyone should bus then they have never lived or worked where that was just not a feasible option. As for banning bikes well that is just silly. Seattle for sure has a problem but it requires a new look at this cities structure and not just a multilayering of niche groups pet projects. Honestly Seattle is one the most overengineered cities I have ever seen but everyone trying to force the other to do things they may not be able to is ludacris. I bus, I drive, I bike, I walk and if there was a good light rail system I would use that too. In order for us all to make this city function smoothly we first have to get over ourselves and see the bigger picture. We live in a city with very limited space and we must recognize that we share it and do not own it. If you want to have alot of space to yourself move to Alaska. When I ask my best friend when is he moving back to Seattle his response is always; “As soon as you get a subway”. Well a subway may not be the most feasable but light rail would make the difference as would actually engineering the traffic lights so that you weren’t sitting at a red light looking up at a green light at the next intersection. So to summerise: drivers stop acting like wherever you are going will disappear if you don’t get there now. Cyclists stop acting like you are doing everyone a favor and are entitled to speacial tretment, you are making a choice to bike it is not saving the world. Buses, what can I say the roads in Seattle are not designed for your large cumbersome mass you took over light rail and would be a good addition but as a sole means you fall short. Pedestrians have the right of way. But most important to remember is that all of these methods are just another person/fellow member of our race moveing from one place to the next. So be considerate, cause this above all other things will help us all get to where we need to more smoothly.

    Comment by Bryan C. — 12:18 am July 19, 2011 #

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