Wallyhood requested safety data for Green Lake Way N and N 50th because the Move Levy targets those streets for a cycle track. We also requested safety data for 45th street because SDOT is not investing in connecting Wallingford to the U-District. Here’s the safety data from Brian Dougherty at SDOT (thanks Brian!):
As you can see, Green Lake Way and N 50th pose very little danger to people on bikes or pedestrians. I know this first hand as I bike those roads daily. It’s hard to justify the expense of cycle tracks here plus the complications that will come from throttling the intersection at 50th and Green Lake Way in order to fit in cycle tracks.
Meanwhile, the stretch between 4th and Brooklyn is very dangerous for both people on bikes and for pedestrians, and that’s before light rail opens! And it’s not just dangerous in terms of our neighborhood, a few years back the spot in front of Dick’s was rated the most dangerous intersection for cyclists in all of Seattle. Clearly 45th is not a happy place to be on a bike, but that’s Wallingford’s designated path for biking to the U-District and Light Rail.
There’s a straight forward fix. We need a line item in the Move Levy budget for “Connecting Wallingford to Light Rail in the U-District”. Here are current investments in the Move Levy budget for light rail access:
- $10 Million: Provide City funding contribution for a new Link light rail station at Graham Street in southeast Seattle $10M
- $15 Million (+$10 Million Match): Provide additional City funding for a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-5 connecting to light rail in Northgate
The good news is there is hope we can be the next item on that list- there’s a walking tour with SDOT being scheduled for Sunday, May 17th, from 11 AM to 1 PM. More on that as plans take shape. It will be the one time SDOT comes to Wallingford to collect feedback on the Move Levy. We hope they see for themselves and make the necessary corrections!
Addendum: Norm Mah, SDOT spokesperson, reached out privately to Jordan and asked to post an editorial on Wallyhood in favor of the Move Levy. Much thanks to Jordan for stopping the end run and sending Norm to me. I replied to Norm saying that I would love to do a written interview that we would publish in full, without editing, so that we could ask pointed questions and SDOT could reply in full. Norm declined and has since stopped replying to emails. I think he was trying to get back on message, and is now trying to starve Wallyhood of information since our coverage of the Move Levy has been less than glowing. I’m not sure I should have to say it, but much thanks to Brian Dougherty and Hannah McIntosh for not blocking the data release that led to this article. Covering this Levy would be much harder if I had to go through freedom of information requests to figure out basic information like accident rates. Finally, if anyone at SDOT decides to talk to Wallyhood and do a full interview we would be super appreciative- just let us know!