Along with other changes to SDOT‘s project list in the reevaluation of Move Seattle levy spending, the department has downsized its plan for implementing projects from the city’s Bicycle Master Plan. The 2014 version of the plan included in West Seattle, for example, protected bike lanes on multiple arterials (see page 60 of that link). But the implementation plan has been revised in recent years and right now SDOT’s taking comments on another revision, with a meeting in West Seattle tomorrow night (6 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 6:15 pm presentation, 6:30 pm “café-style conversations”). The city also is taking emailed comments through next Tuesday. We were CC’d on longtime local advocate Stu Hennessey‘s view that the downscaling is being done inequitably; we asked for and received his permission to publish:
Over the 26 years since I co-founded Greater Harbor 2000 and have advocated for bicycle transportation improvements in West Seattle through leadership with groups like Sustainable West Seattle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways group, Spokespeople West Seattle and West Seattle Bike Connections, I have seen a great disparity between what is allocated north of SODO and moreover north of the ship canal compared to what is allocated for West Seattle.
It looks as though this pattern of neglect is not going to improve as West Seattle will be taking the biggest hit on the retracted implementation of the Bike Master Plan. This is very ironic considering West Seattle has the largest neighborhood population outside of the downtown corridor and is landlocked on a peninsula.
I am calling for SDOT to reexamine the retracted plan and take some projects off the bicycle infrastructural wealthy north end to reinstate most if not all of the planned West Seattle projects.
I am sure, and rightfully so, those neighborhoods will be upset too but let’s be fair and spread the improvements out evenly. Whatever marginal improvements that have occurred in West Seattle due to the Move Seattle funding are a drop in the bucket to overcome years of neglect.
If you can’t make it to tomorrow night’s meeting, the email address for comments is CCBike@Seattle.gov.
P.S. Another big transportation meeting in West Seattle is happening one night after the bike-plan meeting – Thursday (April 25th), 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 SW Sylvan Way), new SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe is the scheduled guest.