August 27th Community Meeting
We will hold a community meeting at Messiah Lutheran Church on Tuesday, August 27th at 6:30 p.m. to discuss (1) the very latest political antics in City Hall surrounding 35th Ave NE and (2) our PAC's support for City Council District 4 and 5 candidates. We hope to see you there.
Oppose Lame-Duck O'Brien's Latest Ideological Crusade
Still "fuming"about 35th Ave. NE, lame-duck Seattle City Councilman Mike O'Brien has proposed a mean-spirited Ordinance to build yet more bike lanes in Seattle whenever SDOT "paving projects" that exceed $1 million.
Why? Because "in repaving 35th Avenue NE, the Seattle Department of Transportation did not build the protected bicycle lanes which were identified in the Bicycle Master Plan." In other words, O'Brien didn't get his way so he's force-feeding the City more bike lanes during his waning days in City Hall.
Consider this excellent email to City Hall from a Save 35th steering committee member:
"Dear Councilmembers and Transportation Department Staff:
As you enter into consideration of Councilmember O’Brien’s proposed ordinance, please remember that the community upheaval over the proposed protected bike lanes on 35th Avenue NE was about SIGNIFICANTLY MORE than bike lanes versus parking. There were many roots to our neighborhood’s unrest, including but not limited to:
1. The perceived infallibility of the Bike Master Plan. Just because it looked a likely candidate for a bike lane for most of its length when viewed on a map, in reality a significant part of the project’s length was too narrow — it could not adequately assure emergency response times or utility/delivery access standards would be met, would significantly impact our community’s small business district, and would limit access to community gathering places. Those kinds of factors need to be proportionally weighed in siting of bike lanes, which is why community engagement is so important in creating project plans.
2. The flawed public engagement process utilized for our project, which did not adequately communicate/trouble-shoot with our small local businesses or the wider geographic community that uses their services. Thankfully the engagement process shortcomings are now being remedied.
3. The potential for significant harm to our neighborhood businesses and community institutions on whom the community relies for easy access and reduced vehicle trips. All you need to do is drive the length of the Roosevelt project and view the many abandoned storefronts post installation of their bike lanes—many abandoned since the inception of construction—to recognize the likely fate our small businesses faced with the loss of significant access and on-street parking. Small restaurants and service industries on Roosevelt are still particularly hard-hit. Go look for yourself.
4. The fact that our neighborhood was not anti-bike, as was widely reported, and fought hard for alternative placement of bicycle facilities, proposing additional improvements to the existing nearby greenway on 39th NE and advocating for an alternative greenway on 30th Avenue NE that would have the significant benefit of connecting several well-attended schools.
5. The fact that, due to the terrain, the proposed 35th Avenue bike lane project did not serve the needs of a significant number of bicyclists and did not significantly advance connectivity to other bike facilities.
Some Councilmembers and media representatives like to dramatically narrow the focus of this debate to selfish drivers winning out over the safety of bicyclists, but our community conversation was much broader than that. We were seeking a solution that works to the benefit of most residents, determined through a comprehensive community process. Based on our experience, please assure that any legislation adopted by the Council maintains the existing BMP requirement to actively listen to affected neighborhoods early in the project development process—and assure that the communication process is not only robust but also ongoing through the sometimes long duration of projects. Please learn from our experience and don’t put additional neighborhoods through this turmoil."
Please consider writing your own email of concern to: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and
firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to cc: Save35thAveNE@gmail.com.
Watch Mayor Durkan Defend Her 35th Ave. Decision
On KING 5 here. These are the Mayor's first public comments about her decision to adopt the alternative design for 35th Ave. NE earlier this year. As the news article states: "Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says abandoning the 35th Avenue protected bike lane was not a mistake. The city, she says, weighed a number of factors before making the decision." Yes, Mayor Durkan!
Please consider making a donation to help us ensure not only that we have Saved 35th but that that we also obtain real District representation in Northeast Seattle this election season.
You can do so here: https://www.neighborhoodsforsmartstreets.org/ Or you can mail a check to Neighborhoods For Smart Streets, P.O. Box 15288, Seattle, WA 98115. Thanks to all who've given!