(Photo by Long Bach Nguyen; click the image to see a larger version on his website)
From the distance at which that West Seattle overview was photographed, it’s easy to forget what it’s like down in the trenches, on the roads and the sidewalks, in the cars and the buses and the trucks and the ferries, on the bikes and the motorcycles. We talk about individual challenges and concerns here all the time. But take a moment if you will for the big picture. Right now, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is doing that – in hopes of angling for a share of another city pie related to transportation needs.
Chamber CEO Patti Mullen has convened a group to brainstorm a potential “wish list” for the Citizen Transportation Advisory Council, CTAC III for short, as it drafts recommendations on spending about $7 million around the city (partly related to the new $20 license tax, as explained here). No one on that council represents West Seattle, so the Chamber is trying to make sure our peninsula has a loud, unified voice, by presenting some strong requests/recommendations. We sat in on the Chamber-convened group’s first conversation last week and agreed to run a list of questions by you – for your seat at the table, so to speak, if you’d like to post a comment with your answers to these questions:
*Identify ONE transportation improvement or project you believe is essential? (for example improved bus service to Delridge, more bike lanes or paved streets)
*What ONE street needs the most improvement? What specific improvements (new sidewalks, paving, crosswalks, signals) need to be made?
*If you had $500,000 to improve some part of the transportation system in West Seattle what would you invest it in?
The Chamber needs to compile comments by April 28th; that’s the date CTAC will convene a meeting about “neighborhood interests” (see the link above), and the Chamber plans a followup shortly thereafter. P.S. In case you’re wondering who’s in the Chamber-convened group – facilitated by consultant Josh Stepherson – those on hand for the first of two conversations last Friday were: John Huey, Viking Bank; Patrick Jablonski, Nucor; Brandon Nicholson, Nicholson Kovalchick Architects and West Seattle Junction Association; Denny Onslow, Harbor Properties; Gary Oertli, South Seattle Community College; and Chas Redmond, Feet First (and Morgan Community Association, Sustainable West Seattle, Southwest District Council, among other groups).