Seattle City Council Transportation Committee representatives Tom Rasmussen and Jean Godden will be taking part in the Move Seattle levy walking tour happening this Sunday at 11 AM in Wallingford and the U-District. Mike O’Brien is also on the Transportation Committee and is a maybe (it’s his wife’s birthday), plus candidates running against Jean Godden for Seattle City Council District 4 will be attending.
Wallyhood hopes you will come on the walk! Just come to the Mosaic Coffee house on 44th between 1st and 2nd Ave NE by 11 AM Sunday. Here is a printable map of the walk. Our goal is simple: the Move Seattle levy should have a line item added for connecting Wallingford pedestrians and cyclists to UW and the U-District light rail station by the time it opens in 2021.
If we were demanding parity with Northgate then we’d ask for a 25 million dollar 2000 foot long bridge that would go straight from the train station to 44th in Wallingford, flying over all the U-District streets and I-5 along the way. Instead, all we’re asking for here is for SDOT to do something that will make a real difference, maybe something like this:
Upgrading the bridge would form the backbone of an East / West greenway network like this.
Is there space? Yes, there is! I went off my meds so I could be “on my game” for this walk, so it won’t surprise you to learn that I went to the trouble of getting road diagrams and fitting everything in. Here are the diagrams showing how changes can be made to NE 45th Street. First, the NE 45th street bridge itself. The numbers written on the roadways are widths in feet, current and proposed:
Then approaching the bridge from Wallingford:
And finally leaving the bridge into the U-District, including to UW and U-District light rail:
Where can the money come from? Currently the 930 million dollar Move Seattle levy is 2/3rds road maintenance, with the remaining 1/3rd split between transportation alternatives, including money for transit. That money is all there is for non-motorized transportation development for the next decade, whereas transit has multiple levies already dedicated to it. The result is that Seattle only spends about 35 million per year on infrastructure for walking or biking, whereas Seattle spends about 360 million tax dollars per year on buses and trains. Transit is a hungry beast- you need to build infrastructure, pay for vehicles, pay to fuel them up, pay for people to drive them around, pay to maintain them. People that walk and bike only ask for a safe place to do so. Spending billions on trains and then failing to spend a few million here and there so people can walk or bike to the train is just plain stupid.
I’ve gotten involved in organizing the walk along with Seattle Greenways, so I have that feeling you get when throwing a party and wondering if anyone will show up. That’s especially the case given how SDOT has been ignoring our humble neighborhood, not visiting even once while designing this levy or collecting feedback, and then making zero changes to the levy based on the feedback we did provide.
So here’s the pitch- please come and show the candidates that they should care about Wallingford! Help address climate change at the local level! Help build out a transportation network in Seattle that is an alternative to sitting in traffic! Support good government and help set priorities for the upcoming election! Save college kids from getting run over by cars! Or maybe you just want to tell me to shut up already about the Move Seattle levy. Regardless, 11 AM Sunday is your chance!