SDOT Bike Master Plan Update Community Meetings are
Wednesday 11/7 5:30 to 7:30 pm at City Hall
Thursday 11/8 5:30 to 7:30 pm at New Hall Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Ave South (corrected address)
Please consider participating with us, to give West Seattle a strong voice in the Seattle Bike Master Plan Update. We want to make bikes an important part of West Seattle's transportation network, with benefits not just to cyclists, but to car drivers, bus riders, truckers and businesses by helping relieve congestion on our streets, buses and bridges.
We had a good planning session last night with folks who have quite different interests, routes, riding habits and neighborhoods, leading to a good discussion around a bike map, a composite list of problem points where there are poor conditions or conflicts with car and truck traffic, and our collective experience of good routes for different types of riders and purposes for riding.
We agreed on this, I think:
For the SDOT meetings this week, we'll do well if each of us goes to them to talk about the part of West Seattle and the routes we know best. Prepare to explain what and why a particular route is valuable, and what challenges you see in making it work better. It will help to promote what we like, what the City has done well, and make a polite requests for what could be better. This could be a Greenway, a path or trail, or a through-commuter route with bike lanes or just smoother paving to get to workplaces, or a recreational route for fast cyclists or for families, kids, slower riders. Bringing a map already marked up will help, especially at the City Hall meeting, to be able to transfer information to the City's maps in a potentially crowded session. If you bring something, you may be able to hand this kind of written or graphic information to the SDOT reps.
A common theme among us was the desire to establish routes and facilities that feel and are safe enough to attract riders, like some of our spouses and kids, who presently are not comfortable riding on most West Seattle streets. In addition to places that work well already, like the Alki Trail, and "no-brainer" potential Greenways like the already-identified Delridge routes on 16th, 21st and 26th Avenues, there are other routes that could be in plan for riders wanting low traffic alternatives to arterials. Examples are 45th Avenue from Fauntleroy to Admiral as a lower traffic alternative west of California Avenue, and 34th Ave from Morgan into Arbor Heights, and a proposed Highland Park greenway through Westcrest Park, greenbelt, 11th Ave, South Seattle Community College north to Brandon.
We do not want to forget or assume that the needs of commuters are other faster riders are taken care of already, or will be served by greenways. Improvements on arterials and trails are needed, and generally were identified in the WS Bikeability report and are in David's spreadsheet. The West Marginal and Duwamish trail has been ignored, but also needs help to work well for people commuting from the east side of WS to downtown or to Tukwila, Seatac, other points south and east, so if you know this route, your input to SDOT will be valuable.
East-west routes are the obvious challenge. Avalon, Admiral, Fauntleroy, Andover, Alaksa, Orchard, Sylvan Way, Barton... Whichever ones you use or would like to use need advocacy for the type of improvements that deserve inclusion in the master plan.
Participants: Bob Winship, Bob Weeks, Brian Paetsch, Craig Rankin, Jeff Hallman, Theresa Beaulieu. We enjoyed pizza from Slices on Alki, salad from Brian and my wife Lynn, fresh Pyramid stout and Snowcap Ale from Jeff's bike-mounted growlers, brownies from Craig I think, and halloween candy from Theresa, and have enough left for another group to come over for an election night party if you want to! I hope we can repeat this sometime soon to talk about our next steps, including meeting as a group with SDOT reps in a few weeks.