The mayor’s final Move Levy proposal was released, but unfortunately nothing has improved for Wallingford despite the levy growing from 900 million to 930 million. Here is the map, then the proposals:
On the map grey is paving, yellow is safety improvements to Aurora, blue is bike master plan implementation, and the red targets are seismic upgrades. I added the numbers and aligned them with the numbered project list below. Descriptions are from SDOT via their project list plus what you come up with when matching the blue lines to to the Bike Master plan:
- Green Lake Way N paving project with a cycle track added between 50th and the lake. Hannah McIntosh, outreach lead, said that the cycle track was supposed to continue around Green Lake and that she would fix the map, but it remains the same in the final version.
- A greenway between Green Lake Elementary and lower Wallingford. In practical terms this only means adding a signal at Sunnyside and 40th, which was Wallingford’s top NPSF project twice but was rejected by SDOT both times, most recently because not enough people used the crossing.
- A cycle track between Woodland Park Ave and Phinney. Hannah said the map was in error and the cycle track should continue to Green Lake Way, but again didn’t change the map in the final release. Connecting to bike lanes on Stone Way at the 5 way signal at of 50th and Green Lake Way was brushed off as a “detailed design issue”, not a feasibility issue.
- Paving 50th
- “Market/45th Transit Improvement Project” and “Bus Rapid Transit” project, piling more bus service on top of all the changes on 45th made for buses in the last few years. Ironically, the city rationalizes all the bike-only parking for new developments on 45th because we are a transit corridor, then provides no way to use bikes in the 45th street corridor.
- A cheap greenway on 42nd street (no arterial crossings)
- Paving part of 40th
- A cheap greenway on Densmore (no arterial crossings)
- A cheap greenway on 36th street (no new arterial crossings)
That’s it. Some of the top safety issues in the city are completely ignored. There will be no new ways to bike or walk to light rail when it opens in 2021 in the U-District. The only greenways we get are the cheapest ones to implement, ones with no new arterial crossings and no paving required. Beyond slamming more buses through on 45th, everything is being chosen based on what’s cheapest to do, nothing based on the needs of the community.
Over 9 years this Levy extracts $2,750 for every half million in home value, compared to $1,300 for the last Bridging the Gap Levy. Think you’re getting your money’s worth? SDOT’s feedback synopsis notes that Wallingford spoke up during the feedback cycle for the Levy. In a 29 page document, these are the mentions we got:
- Some comments that proposed improvements neglect certain neighborhoods with great needs (e.g., West Seattle, Lake City, Wallingford)
- Some comments about paying more attention to east and west connections citywide
- Support for a pedestrian and bicycle bridge on 47th over I-5 that connects Wallingford and the U District
Fortunately, SDOT is going to come to Wallingford on Sunday, May 17th, from 11 AM to 1 PM for a walking tour. It would have been nice if they had set foot in the neighborhood while planning the Levy or before the mayor submitted the finalized Levy to the city council, but at least they are coming.
The walking tour is sponsored by Seattle Greenways, which has a pedestrian and cyclist I-5 crossing near 45th as their top priority for all of Seattle City Council District 4. District 4 candidates will also be on the walking tour, plus Tom Rasmussen and Mike O’Brien have been invited as they are Seattle City Council Transportation Committee Chair and Vice Chair. Here’s the tour map:
So I hope you come on the walking tour Sunday, May 17th, from 11 AM to 1 PM! Come meet the candidates. Meet people from SDOT and describe this strange land called “Wallingford” to them. Find out if anybody in city government will fix this Levy before we get stuck with it for the next decade!