Also @ Transportation Committee: Bicycle Master Plan update OK’d

April 8, 2014 at 11:52 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 35 Comments

Right after the alley-vacation vote, the City Council Transportation Committee launched into what might have been the marquee item on any other day – the updated city Bicycle Master Plan. You can see what the West Seattle section of the plan calls for – what’s envisioned in the future, though timetables and funding are yet to be determined, by going here. (One notable feature: A western West Seattle neighborhood greenway, along 45th SW between Admiral and Alaska.) During discussion, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said she wanted to include a reassurance that neighborhoods “would be listened to” when implementation time comes for its components. Councilmember Mike O’Brien called it “an amazing plan … ambitious, for sure.”

35 Comments

  1. Sure, spend millions on bicycle improvements in a city full of hills where it rains 9 months of the year. Makes sense to me…

    Comment by marty — 12:24 pm April 8, 2014 #

  2. It is time that bicyclist be taxed and licensed for all of the improvements that are being made on their behalf.

    If they are not paying car tab fees and gas fees, they should be chipping in as well.

    There is not free ride. Anywhere.

    Comment by Ray — 1:27 pm April 8, 2014 #

  3. I’ll start by admitting that I haven’t read the entire plan but just by glancing at the projections for the Southwest sector of the city (RE: West Seattle), it looks like the city wants to install a cycle track on Fauntleroy Way and 35th Ave SW.

    Does that mean that those two roadways will lose some parking in order to accommodate the cycle tracks? Are these cycle tracks intended to be similar to the one that is now installed on Broadway on Capitol Hill?

    Comment by Brian — 1:30 pm April 8, 2014 #

  4. Sure, spend millions on bicycle improvements in a city full of hills where it rains 9 months of the year. Makes sense to me…
    .
    And yet, many of us ride year round nonetheless. Maybe we’re crazy.

    Comment by datamuse — 1:35 pm April 8, 2014 #

  5. Bikes do not belong on 35th or Fauntleroy Way due to the traffic that is on those streets. Also the speeds along those streets would not work with bikers.

    Comment by Scott — 1:58 pm April 8, 2014 #

  6. To be fair, bike commuters and people using bikes for the bulk of their travel are increasing year over year: http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2011/09/27/census-seattle-bike-commuting-rises-22-in-1-year-city-claims-2-spot-in-us/
    .
    And, while that might only be 3.6% of all trips, that’s still deep into the tens of thousands for riders. They’re all taxpayers and equally deserving of money to be spent on services as all other modes of travel, like cars and mass transit.

    Comment by Joe Szilagyi — 2:02 pm April 8, 2014 #

  7. Also having protected bike lanes will certainly be an encouragement to many who don’t feel comfortable on the roads currently.
    .
    3000 new units later the only way off this peninsula that won’t take an hour is going to be by bike!

    Comment by MyEye — 2:07 pm April 8, 2014 #

  8. @Marty, that actually does make sense. When we spend upwards of 4 billion dollars for less than 2 miles of tunnel for cars, hundreds of miles of bicycle infrastructure over 20 years at less than 10% of the tunnel cost is a steal.

    Comment by JN — 2:22 pm April 8, 2014 #

  9. But the state is selling these taxes – gas taxes, car tab taxes – as the primary source of income for all of this – not bus fares, etc.

    Bicyclists should be paying too for their specific ode of transportation just like everyone else.

    The fact they are paying taxes elsewhere is irrelevant. Non-bike fees are being charged to support bikes. Bikes as a mode of transportation should be taxed as well.

    Comment by Ray — 2:23 pm April 8, 2014 #

  10. MyEye – and Joe – thanks! I am one of the many who bike in this area and helped work on the BMP. Those who object should read the document first. Also understand, as WSB pointed out, that these aren’t automatically funded nor are they going to be magically installed within the next few weeks. Nor is funding for roads in general going to disappear, nor will traffic be worsened, nor will the world end; maybe it will *gasp* get better!

    Even if we only end up with a few of these improvements it will make a difference for those who already bike and for those that want to.

    P.S. It already takes less than one hour to ride from West Seattle to downtown!

    Comment by Al — 2:27 pm April 8, 2014 #

  11. It’s a 20-year plan, CM Rasmussen pointed out when we asked him about timeframe post-meeting.

    Comment by WSB — 2:32 pm April 8, 2014 #

  12. Real Seattlites aren’t afraid of a little rain and some hills.
    Cyclists actually subsidize roads, but that it so well known and well documented that anyone who doesn’t know it already must be making a concerted effort not to learn.

    Comment by amalia — 2:48 pm April 8, 2014 #

  13. I ride my bicycle year round. So do many others. Guess some haven’t noticed that. In fact I commuted 103 miles just last week over 3 1/2 days.

    And it keeps my SUV or truck off the road when I do, allowing people like Marty to get to work or wherever easier.

    In fact for accurate numbers, when you’re avoiding driving over the upper West Seattle bridge because it’s jam packed full, and diverting to the lower bridge, there is a bicycle counter on the East side of that bridge. The numbers might surprise you. Take note. Those numbers will increase in future, as West Seattle building permits for property with little or no parking increases commensurately.

    I don’t mind paying some kind of fee for my bicycle, it should be a relative percentage of the combined weight of my bicycle plus me, compared to the average bloated and overweight (car)…

    Seriously though, try cycling sometime if you don’t right now. You’ll feel better from getting some exercise, not have to deal with the congested roadways that will get worse if you vote down Prop 1, and best of all you’ll be less inclined to be frustrated at pedestrians, cyclists and other road users due to that congestion – you can do it! :-)

    Cheers

    Comment by thehealthyturnip — 3:02 pm April 8, 2014 #

  14. “Bikes do not belong on 35th or Fauntleroy Way due to the traffic that is on those streets. Also the speeds along those streets would not work with bikers.”

    Oh come on really, did you really just say that? You have to be joking. Or it’s just an unfounded opinion. Cars don’t have any more ‘right’ than any other vehicle. We all deserve to be able to get to our destinations safely without opinions like these that encourage distinction of the rights of different road users.

    Fauntleroy is finally becoming a safer road (thank gosh, long overdue), with the same amount of vehicles travelling on it and getting thru after the road calming. 35th Ave SW, a constant cause of accidents due to excessive speed and unnecessary aggressive driving, will be next. We don’t need to drive 40+ mph down neighborhood streets to then slam on the brakes and sit at the light every block. Makes no sense.

    Let’s come together and think of everyone’s safety. If you’re running late, that’s only your fault. Allow extra time.

    Comment by thehealthyturnip — 3:11 pm April 8, 2014 #

  15. Yes, it’s called COMMUNITY… where we do things that benefit everyone and not necessarily just yourself. Couples without children support schools, people who don’t play sports fund playfields for your after-work basketball or soccer team, and people who take the bus to work pay for roads you’re using. So would it hurt to put 2 or 3% of the transportation funding towards some bicycle improvements — just because YOU don’t want to ride in the rain?

    Comment by Mickymse — 3:14 pm April 8, 2014 #

  16. When is WSB going to have a LIKE button on comments? When there are great comments that say it all, I’d prefer to just hit LIKE.

    20-year plan? Seriously? I have a hard time believing that any politician or group can plan or authorize anything that far out. Heck, that may be only 30 years from Alki being underwater due to sea levels rising.

    Comment by I. Ponder — 3:19 pm April 8, 2014 #

  17. Bicyclists should be paying too for their specific ode of transportation just like everyone else.
    .
    The idea that those of us who drive (I do drive as well as bike) completely cover the cost of our own motor vehicle use is…debatable.

    Comment by datamuse — 3:26 pm April 8, 2014 #

  18. amalia,real seattlites are socialist. you get to pay for me. small caps intentional!

    Comment by Rick — 3:39 pm April 8, 2014 #

  19. @Marty – There are a “lot” of people who commute by bike despite the hills and rain. I think you underestimate your fellow city dwellers. There are many sources to back this up. Maybe not the best source, but here is one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._cities_with_most_bicycle_commuters). Seattle is one of the leading cities in the US in terms of commuting by bike and that number has been going up rapidly. Take a look at the Fremont Bridge bicycle counter. You will see, there are many weeks where there are over 20,000 bicycle trips over that bridge in a given week. Investing in bicycle infrastructure actually improves livability for both cyclists and drivers.

    Comment by CW — 3:42 pm April 8, 2014 #

  20. I cannot WAIT for this plan to be implemented!

    Comment by AmandaKH — 3:45 pm April 8, 2014 #

  21. I am all for safe routes for cyclist that is why I support neighborhood greenways; but in most cases not cycle tracks. Sadly, this plan seems to put cycle tracks on just about every major arterial with the exception of I5. Why not spend these funds on improving the neighborhood greenways and use the extra funds to build bicycle/pedestrian over crossing for the major arterials and add sidewalks to the greenways without.

    Comment by bleu sky cheese — 3:49 pm April 8, 2014 #

  22. How about charging a toll for those who use the cycle tracks?

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 4:44 pm April 8, 2014 #

  23. If the City made it possible to ride from West Seattle to downtown without a close encounter of the last kind I would welcome it because my excuse for not riding would be gone, and I would be fitter for it. Right now, any route but the Alki bike path is hazardous. The wonderful Harbor Island-East Marginal Way segment is deadly as has been proved. Getting from the water front to 6th and Union – Good luck and cross your sharrows. I have already been in a car/ped accident and I’d rather not repeat.
    -
    And riding back to home, or god forbid, the Junction to go shopping: Welcome to the Avalon meat grinder. There are no good options for cyclists at 35th/Avalon intersection.
    -
    Anything is an improvement.

    Comment by JayDee — 6:05 pm April 8, 2014 #

  24. Mickymse is spot on with the school tax analogue.

    Comment by Brandon — 6:17 pm April 8, 2014 #

  25. The roads are paid for by the users of the roads – gas taxes and license tabs. Motorcycles have to pay these same to taxes as well.

    Bicyclists should not be exempt from the same taxes. It is all part of being good citizens. Paying for their fair/”fare” share as well.

    Again, nothing is free. There should be no expectation of such.

    Comment by Ray — 8:18 pm April 8, 2014 #

  26. I’ve never once whined about paying for schools even though I don’t have kids. I don’t whine about paying for road repairs even though I don’t cause as much road damage as regular drivers. Mickeymse has it right. Although I think I might just start whining. Because a lot of people I encounter do.

    Comment by amalia — 8:40 pm April 8, 2014 #

  27. http://www.seattlemet.com/news-and-profiles/publicola/articles/we-all-pay-for-the-roads

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 9:22 pm April 8, 2014 #

  28. Actually, Ray, far more of local road funding comes from property taxes than from gas taxes and license tabs. I’m a homeowner, are you?

    Comment by datamuse — 9:39 pm April 8, 2014 #

  29. Mickeymse does have it right. Since we are a community, the cyclists can do their community duty and pay.

    Glad we are all agreed.

    Comment by Ray — 9:49 pm April 8, 2014 #

  30. Ray, you should educate yourself about where taxes come from and go in Seattle and King County. Go ahead, try it, it’s not hard!

    Comment by amalia — 10:05 pm April 8, 2014 #

  31. Ray

    I am, and I do pay – property taxes, car tabs (3 cars), gasoline taxes.

    Thanks for asking!

    Comment by Ray — 10:37 pm April 8, 2014 #

  32. I’m happy to see that 10th Ave is part of the City Wide network as a Neighborhood Greenway through Highland Park. I hope that the City Wide status gives the route a high priority so that funding is dedicated before I’m beyond the “8 to 80″ demographic. This is not just a bike commuter line but one that will be used by families to ride to parks and schools…

    SDOT please fix 9th and Holden first for everyone’s sake.

    Comment by Craig — 3:47 am April 9, 2014 #

  33. I’m just looking for information about the “Greenway” on 45th Ave SW. Pros and Cons.

    Had to go to a Seattle dot gov site to find out some details. Still insufficient.

    WSB can you find out the process that the city used to select 45th.
    Thank you.

    Comment by seekinginfo — 4:56 pm April 9, 2014 #

  34. Not seeing anything via Google. Please e-mail the bicycle master plan contact on the linked page. Or West Seattle Bike Connections might know …

    Comment by WSB — 5:07 pm April 9, 2014 #

  35. Right on Ray! My 250cc motorcycle tabs are $90 bucks a year. Based on the weight of my 100 mpg commuter motorcycle a bicycle should pay about $25 a year and also be required to have a license plate so they are subject to photo enforcement like every vehicle that “shares the road” with them. Don’t get me wrong, I support bicycles as a viable alternative form of transportation, they should be required to be licensed for the street and obey traffic laws like every vehicle. Just sayin’

    Comment by Born on Alki — 8:07 pm April 9, 2014 #

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