Followup: Post-Town Hall, city puts Morgan St. bike lane ‘on hold’

Example #2 of why speaking up at public meetings can make a difference: Above, that’s Morgan Junction resident and longtime neighborhood volunteer Cindi Barker (with neighborhood-district coordinator Ed Pottharst holding the mike, and Chas Redmond in the background) at Mayor McGinn‘s West Seattle Town Hall this past Tuesday night. As reported in our coverage of the event, Barker asked the mayor about a West Seattle bike-lane plan that had suddenly turned up in SDOT flyers around her neighborhood, with no previous public announcement, and seemingly imminent – a lane on the south side of SW Morgan between Fauntleroy and 35th SW, with all parking removed on that side of Morgan as a result. Barker said she is not opposed to bike lanes, but she was concerned about, among other factors, the prospect of losing parking close to the Morgan Junction business district, and the lack of previous outreach – the flyer said installation was planned for “later this summer” – as in, done deal, any time now. The mayor referred her to an SDOT rep at the meeting; we also contacted SDOT to ask for more information. This afternoon, we received this reply from SDOT spokesperson Marybeth Turner:

Based on what we’ve heard during the initial outreach, we will put the Morgan Street project on hold until 2013 while we see what comes out of the Bicycle Master Plan Update and consider the suggestion for a neighborhood greenway on SW Graham Street. We will also conduct additional community outreach. Once we’ve done these things, we will decide how to move forward.

For context on what the project would have – and might in the future, since “on hold” doesn’t mean “scrapped” – entail, take a look at the flyer (which Barker scanned to share with WSB) – front here, back here. P.S. If you missed “Example #1” – here’s that story.

13 Replies to "Followup: Post-Town Hall, city puts Morgan St. bike lane 'on hold'"

  • kgdlg August 31, 2012 (2:36 pm)

    Go Cindi go!

  • CP August 31, 2012 (3:00 pm)

    Cindi has been an absolute gem – a fine spokesperson and asset to those of us that live in the Seaview / Morgan Junction area.

  • WSB August 31, 2012 (3:09 pm)

    Before anyone else bothers to try posting personal-attack comments that will not be approved for publication, please actually read the story and the background. Sorry if I haven’t written it clearly, but the point here was that a dramatic change to the streetscape was suddenly scheduled for implementation without the businesses and residences being even nominally asked for comment. If I were a betting person, I’d bet there eventually will be a bike lane there, but the city attempting to converse with the neighborhood about it might at least turn up safety concerns and possible solutions. When they do announce a meeting, comment period, discussion at local community group meeting(s), whatever, we’ll have that info here. Cindi’s question at the town hall was the first we had heard of the plan, or else we would have had a basic informational story long ago. – TR

  • Happy August 31, 2012 (3:09 pm)

    I live near here and did not receive the notice. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. I am not opposed to bike lanes but do have concerns about loss of parking. Morgan Junction has gotten so much nicer over the last few years and continues to improve. I don’t want that threatened in any way because I keep hoping for even more new businesses. 45 parking spots seems like a large loss but maybe the impact will be minimal in actual business district? If bikers really want to bike up Morgan that is awesome but just hope there is a balance and the entire neighborhood is considered.

  • rmp August 31, 2012 (3:25 pm)

    Thank you Cindi!

  • SillyGoose September 1, 2012 (8:14 am)

    Morgan Junction needs all the parking it can get, with the car ranchers taking up any where from 6-10 prime spots for years on California Ave, we really can’t afford to loose any more.

    Can someone please tell me what the greenway is on Graham Street?

  • G September 1, 2012 (9:56 am)

    More reducing street capacity, more congestion, and less parking. On a steep hill, no less.

    Just insane. I feel like I’m in the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” make sure you act kooky too, or you’ll be discovered.

  • Al September 1, 2012 (10:27 am)

    I live just off Morgan St. near the Morgan Junction, and I am a regular bike commuter. While Morgan St. is a good bike connection (to Sylvan Way) it’s not a street used by most (it is used pretty frequently by more experienced, but even I tend to not use it) cyclists, since it is a major grade – one has to be in fairly good shape to do so – and I’m stumped as to why the City is focusing on Morgan. I’d rather see re-painting the existing, or adding more, Sharrows to Fauntleroy and to Sylvan; heck, get rid of the dangerous bike lane up Sylvan and expand the narrow sidewalk to a nice bike/ped route instead! The actual well-used bike routes in the area are on 37th and 38th (a good way to head east/west via a north/south connection). While an E/W route is needed, I am not convinced Morgan is it.

    I don’t think though, that losing parking on one side of the street is a deal-breaker. There’s really not many cars ever parked on it to begin with, and it’s restricted parking even so on the lower portion of Morgan. So this argument I do not buy.

    Here is a good website about Greenways:

  • Clay September 1, 2012 (11:47 am)

    As always, thank you for being there to keep them in check Cindy!

  • Yardvark September 1, 2012 (2:00 pm)

    I’d love to hear more about the proposed Greenway on SW Graham. That’s a much better bike route when going east/west near Morgan Junction, since it already has less car traffic and goes through the neighborhoods. Sounds like an excellent idea!

  • Don Brubeck September 2, 2012 (8:58 am)

    I rode my bike yesterday morning on this route to the U-Haul Center to rent a truck, drove it in the truck, and biked it home at the end of the day after I returned the truck. A bike lane going up hill would make it safer for vehicles and bikes by putting bikes into a right lane when they are going slower uphill. It might be good for businesses to know that some of their customers now arrive by bike, and more would in the future if it was safer. I didn’t see much parking going on on this stretch, and none of it is in front of houses or apartments. Nothing against Greenways, they would be nice, but they are not in place now and don’t really connect places very far apart, and take a lot of work to put in place. Riding several miles on non-Greenway residential streets is not necessarily safer than riding on arterials, due to all the uncontrolled intersections and poor sightlines. When there is a low cost, low impact chance to help make bike transportation work for more people for commuting, shopping and errands on an arterial with plenty of capacity, maybe we should take it.

  • songstruck September 2, 2012 (9:15 am)

    I live west of California and need to get up the hill to reach points south. I use Graham as it’s quieter and has a more manageable grade for me.

    The flyer scanned by Cindi does mention that peak parking demands would be met by the change. To discuss this as a loss of 45 spots isn’t really right. Has anyone ever seen those spots anywhere near fully utilized? They are more typically empty. BTW, who wants to climb up a big hill from junction shopping if they can park somewhere else??

  • sam-c September 2, 2012 (4:12 pm)

    to be honest, I don’t think I see a lot of cars parked on Morgan ever on that side of the street. maybe 1 or 2.

Sorry, comment time is over.