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In response to Bike Board letter, CM Pedersen says he doesn’t see SDOT deleting Eastlake bike lanes

The Eastlake bike lane plans are nonetheless shifting ahead with the RapidRide J bus enhancements challenge, however bike advocates on the town aren’t taking their eye off the challenge till these bike lanes are on the bottom.

Metropolis Councilmember and Transportation Committee Chair Alex Pedersen (D4) made feedback throughout an Eastlake Neighborhood Council assembly that spooked the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board sufficient that they penned a letter (PDF) this week strongly supporting the challenge and the deliberate bike lanes.

“SBAB requests that SDOT, council, and the Harrell Administration full the Speedy Journey J challenge as proven over the past a number of years together with the absolutely protected bike lane,” the Board wrote within the letter addressed to Mayor Bruce Harrell, the Seattle Metropolis Council and SDOT. “We, together with quite a few people and organizations within the metropolis have supported the challenge with the understanding that it could embody protected bike lanes. To take away them at this level could be a betrayal of belief in addition to counter to our metropolis’s council adopted Bicycle Grasp Plan, Local weather Motion Plan, and Imaginative and prescient Zero commitments.”

The feedback have been truly from an April assembly concerning the challenge, however many individuals didn’t see them till Ryan Packer observed a recap of the assembly in the summertime version of the Eastlake Neighborhood Council’s publication Eastlake Information (PDF). In the course of the assembly, Pedersen reportedly stated that he wished SDOT would think about “a inventive sharing of the highway” and that he anticipated an uproar much like individuals against the thirty fifth Ave NE bike lanes a couple of years in the past.

“It was very disheartening to learn in the summertime 2022 version of the Eastlake Information that the pinnacle of the Seattle Metropolis Council Transportation Committee seems to be looking for to water down this very important challenge,” wrote the Bike Board. “thirty fifth Ave NE represents a failure of town to observe by way of on its adopted local weather and Imaginative and prescient Zero insurance policies. To listen to thirty fifth Ave Northeast referenced as a template for the longer term trajectory of the Speedy Journey J challenge is extremely disappointing, and albeit unacceptable.”

I reached out to Councilmember Pedersen to get some clarification on his stance on Eastlake, and I’ve posted his full letter beneath. He famous that the challenge is much sufficient alongside that it doesn’t want any additional Council approval “until it will definitely suffers value overruns.” He tried to play each side, saying he helps “connecting extra of the bike community” however that he additionally has been telling SDOT they’re “making a mistake (for my part) by persevering with with their plans to take away practically all parking on BOTH sides of Eastlake Avenue.” In the end, although, he doesn’t anticipate SDOT will take heed to him, and any opposition might want to goal Mayor Harrell the brand new SDOT management.

The bike lanes are fairly hard-coded into the challenge at this level. In contrast to with thirty fifth Ave NE, RapidRide J has gone by way of in depth environmental evaluate at native and federal ranges as a result of it is rather massive and the challenge has federal funding. Altering it at this level could be an enormous endeavor. Nonetheless, the bike lanes are tied to the main transit challenge, and we’ve got seen main tasks languish earlier than, particularly if native political help grows chilly. The Middle Metropolis Streetcar is a current instance that is still in limbo after Mayor Durkan paused work in 2018. Metropolis help for buses is often way more unified than for streetcars, so hopefully RapidRide J can keep away from such a destiny. However it’s nonetheless clever for challenge supporters to maintain paying consideration and making their help clear.

Beneath is Councilmember Pedersen’s full response (I requested him if he was pushing again on the Eastlake bike lanes as famous in Eastlake Information):

Hello, Tom.

I hope you’re doing effectively.

I suppose it is determined by what you imply by “pushing again” as a result of, I don’t assume SDOT wants any extra approvals from the Seattle Metropolis Council on that mega challenge alongside Eastlake Avenue, until it will definitely suffers value overruns. I imagine I’ve been forthright that, whereas I’ve labored for elevated bus service throughout town (renewing the Seattle Transportation Profit District for instance), I would like MORE buses alongside Eastlake Avenue even after the brand new mild rail stations opened, I favor connecting extra of the bike community (e.g. 15th Ave NE), and I need to see extra traffic-calming / crosswalks / velocity digital camera enforcement, and so forth, I proceed to inform SDOT it’s making a mistake (for my part) by persevering with with their plans to take away practically all parking on BOTH sides of Eastlake Avenue.  My issues stay the impacts to these small enterprise, the removing of a number of bus stops, the parking research exhibiting relative saturation — and the truth that South Seattle might make good use of these {dollars}. However, for my part, SDOT has not made significant adjustments for a lot of the small companies alongside Eastlake Avenue – for this challenge of practically 1.5 miles. And the division typically doesn’t do what I recommend anyway – bear in mind the $100 million in bond funding accepted by the whole Metropolis Council for bridge security infrastructure that SDOT turned down after the West Seattle Bridge closed and a bridge audit confirmed the remainder of our bridges are in unhealthy form?  Furthermore, SDOT has since acquired their federal grant for the J Line additional bolstering their authentic plans (the plans which embody everlasting new bike lanes on each side of Eastlake Avenue).  I believe it’s constructive that SBAB despatched their letter advocating once more for the challenge and it’s a very good letter, although most likely not wanted as I’m not seeing SDOT pulling again in any respect on the bike lanes based mostly on something I say or do for the Eastlake small companies. As your weblog put up astutely identified again in January 2020, I simply don’t have the bandwidth on this single location.  Whereas I’ve given my two cents on this challenge quite a few occasions over the previous 3 years and I’ll proceed to help the small companies in Eastlake, it’s now primarily between the Eastlake group and new SDOT management together with the Mayor’s Workplace – they’ll must reply to the Eastlake group for this challenge and to whomever isn’t getting these {dollars}.

Thanks for checking in.


Alex Pedersen

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