2-wheel tour: West Seattle Bike Connections ride with councilmember

August 17, 2014 at 12:09 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

(At new Junction ‘bike corral,’ last stop on the tour)
West Seattle Bike Connections members spent part of their weekend taking City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the council’s Transportation Committee, on a tour “to get a first-hand look at some of the routes and intersections in the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan that we think are high priority for funding and implementation,” according to WSBC president Don Brubeck, who shares photos and this report from Saturday’s tour:

We started at Highland Park Improvement Club. First stop: The crosswalk at 11th Ave SW (a planned Greenway route) at SW Holden St, a busy arterial. We are supporting the Highland Park Action Committee’s application to SDOT for flashing beacons to help make this a safe crossing for kids going to schools and playgrounds in Highland Park and Riverview.

Then south on 10th Ave to SW Thistle at Highland Park Playfield. These are mapped as future Greenway routes, and seem ideal low traffic streets for walking and riding bikes. A set of public steps at 14th allows pedestrians to continue through on Thistle, but stops cars and bikes. We’d like to see a “runnel” gutter for bike wheels added to the steps, which are under construction now.

Then north on 17th Ave SW, which is a neighborhood Greenway route currently in the planning and design stage. The proposed route jogs over to 15th Ave on Kenyon, then back over to 17th at Webster. These jogs did not seem realistic to our group. Who would want to go 2 blocks east out of their way, and then 2 blocks west back to their route? And the intersections of Kenyon & 16th, 15th & Holden, and Webster & 16th would all need marked crosswalks and signals to be safe Greenway crossings. It looks much easier to just improve Holden for the short block from 17th to 16th, and then 16th to Webster, to get around the block that does not go through on 17th.

Continuing north on 17th from Webster to Myrtle, there’s a spot that does not go through that is planned to have a bike/ped switchback ramp. This will be a ideal safe route to Sanislo Elementary. If more kids can safely walk and ride to Sanislo, there will be less car congestion and hazard around the school and the beginning and end of the school day.

From there, we continued north on the partially completed 21st Avenue Delridge Greenway. It’s a great route along the ridge for bike riding, very attractive for commuting to SODO downtown, or connecting to the Alki or West Duwamish trails. Several on this ride use it regularly. However, for pedestrians, and especially for wheelchair users, there is quite a bit of work left to do.

Then we dropped down to the 5-way intersection and Chelan/Spokane/Delridge/West Marginal, and talked about the planning in progress for that major connection point. From here to the Alki Trail. A look at the “Kitty Harbor” corner of Spokane and Harbor Ave, where we have an SDOT funding application in with Alki and Admiral neighborhood associations.

Then a potty stop for our 2-year-old rider at Luna Park Cafe, and a break before climbing up Avalon. Tom Rasmussen updated the group on the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project, which is now midway in design and public outreach, and promises to be a much-friendlier welcome to West Seattle, with wide sidewalks, safer crosswalks, and bike routes to serve the rapidly developing area.

At mile 6.6, we reached the West Seattle Junction, and parked in the new bike corral, installed after a push from Councilmember Rasmussen, and much appreciated.

You can see the updated Bicycle Master Plan here.

6 Comments

  1. We are fortunate to have this group and individuals who look out for the welfare and safety of residents and especially school children and alternative forms of transportation. Thank you for your work in our community.

    Comment by NW — 5:58 am August 18, 2014 #

  2. The potty stop was actually for a *3* year-old rider! This was a great event. Thanks especially to the organizers and Councilmember Rasmussen.

    Comment by skeeter — 8:57 am August 18, 2014 #

  3. if there were sidewalks in Puget Ridge, ‘more kids can safely walk and ride to Sanislo’

    ie, ‘hooray for more and more bike infrastructure when there are still areas lacking in basic pedestrian infrastructure’

    Comment by sam-c — 11:35 am August 18, 2014 #

  4. my sarcastic rant doesn’t really make any sense.

    but, it’s quite a bit irritating to see council-members promoting more cycling infrastructure as if that will get people to stop driving their children to an elementary school, when the neighborhood surrounding said elementary school doesn’t have any sidewalks.

    basic sidewalks first, switchbacks and ‘greenways’ later. (or do greenways come with sidewalks?)

    Comment by sam-c — 2:02 pm August 18, 2014 #

  5. Sam-c, greenways provide a safe routes for pedestrians and bicyclists.

    http://seattlegreenways.org/who-we-are/what-are-greenways/

    As noted in the write-up above, the 21st Ave greenway is currently great for bikes but more improvements need to happen so that pedestrians can feel safe using this greenway; I’m hoping this means creating sidewalks since this stretch of road does not have any sidewalks.

    Comment by MrsL — 3:06 pm August 18, 2014 #

  6. Sam-c, you are spot on.
    -
    It gets really, really old seeing politicians like Council Member Sally Bagshaw, and now Tom Rasmussen, going out of their way to accommodate, talk about, do ride-alongs, and obtain funding for a means of transportation that serves a seasonal, minority of the population while at the same time you rarely if ever here Bagshaw, Rasmussem or the rest of the City a Council even mention the word SIDEWALK, let alone champion anything to remedy the lack of them in the blighted sections of the city.
    -
    Tunnels, parks, streetcars, Mercer rebuilds, phony bike greenways, etcetera are all ‘exciting’, ‘fresh’ and ‘cool’. Meanwhile, basics such as sidewalks that make a neighborhood actually function and work for all ages, users and abilities are ignored.

    Comment by Del Martini — 10:40 am August 19, 2014 #

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