Remember the walking tour to fix the Move Seattle Levy? Well, it had an effect- Jean Godden added this requirement to the final Move Seattle Levy language:
Develop plans and complete improvements to enhance the NE 45th St Corridor for pedestrians and cyclists between 4th Ave NE and Brooklyn Ave NE by the time University Light Rail opens in 2021.
We went back and forth with her a few times on the language, as the initial amendment just asked for a study. Even the language above may be maneuvered around- it’s possible that SDOT will do something really lame like a paint-only solution and then say “mission accomplished”. Time will tell.
So, regardless of what you think of Jean, we should be thankful that she got this done for our community. Mike O’Brien and Tom Rasmussen supported the amendment when it came up for a vote, but neither was responsive when asked to change the levy language for the better. Only Jean was willing to work with us on levy language.
In terms of working with city government, the biggest lesson to me through all of this is that if you don’t work downtown at city hall, your opinion is just perceived as an obstacle. Scott Kubly (head of SDOT) made that very clear with a string of obscenities when talking to me about neighborhood planning (he comes from Chicago). Nobody from downtown is going to come to Wallingford to ask you “what do you think we should do next?” or “which of these 3 plans do you think is best?”
The only reason we were successful is that we had the backing of Cathy Tuttle, who as director of Seattle Greenways knows which buttons to press downtown, so much thanks to Cathy for her assistance. If anyone else wants to help with bike and pedestrian routes in Wallingford, here’s the link to the Wallingford chapter of Seattle Greenways.
I’ve gone very publicly on record as opposing the levy at this point, see here in the Seattle Times, but at the very least this language change pushes the levy back from being a complete train wreck for Wallingford. Anything you buy has some waste and badness in it, whether it’s a can of coke or a transportation levy, and (hopefully) this levy will now do more good than bad for us here in Wallingford. I still think cycle tracks on 50th and Green Lake Way that dead end at the intersection with Stone are not a priority, but O’Brien supports them so they are staying in the levy.
So, this concludes our extensive coverage of the levy. Let us know what you think.
Nice to know someone is going to bat for us! thanks Eric, Cathy, etc.
I don’t believe that the Move Seattle levy proposal is well-thought-out. It contains some items that belong in the general budget and is just too big and puts too much on the property owner. There needs to be other avenues of revenue to fund this effort.
Concur with above opinions. Well done editorial in the Times, Eric, I appreciate your willingness to challenge downtown’s top-down wisdom. I live in an average Wallingford house, so $450 per year in new property taxes for what, exactly? I don’t get it at all, and I’ve always supported local levies.
I really appreciate the information that you’ve provided to all of us here, Eric. And I also really appreciate all of the thoughtful comments. It’s made me much better informed and thoughtful about these issues.
When we went on the walk with the City Council members one of the possibilities was to have a “bridge” dedicated to pedestrians and bicycles that would cross the freeway at 47th. This would be a MUCH preferred alternative to me. 45th already has such a bottleneck between Thackery and I-5 taking away more options for vehicles and trying to add bicycles and pedestrians to the mix is too much! I imagine bicycles on the sidewalk because of vehicle congestion. Add in many more pedestrians and there will be lots of accidents! Wallingford needs to rally the City Council to add the bridge across 47th. Apparently such a solution has been reached in the Northgate area.
Wanda- I agree, but the problem with a bridge at 47th is that SDOT has not looked at it yet and gotten designs done and gotten federal funding lined up like they did for the Northgate bridge. Since the ground work wasn’t done, putting 47th into the levy was not something that the council or SDOT were willing to do.
The reason Northgate did get a bridge is that they demanded it at the right time in the process of designing the train station. People in Wallingford did not ask at the right time while the U-District station was being designed, hence we don’t. It has absolutely nothing to do with merit- it’s just a matter of speaking up at the right time in the process.
Kudos to Eric, “all politics are local”, keep up the good fight! For almost a Billion $ over 10 years, I’m very disappointed that Fremont will only get 2 new plantings in existing medians — when they can’t even fix the potholes on N. 35th & 36th St. to Leary Way. (they just recently painted around them again after doing so a year ago but never filled ’em! Maybe just fund extra “Pothole Rangers” trucks/crews instead of another extremely delayed grandiose way over-budget boondoggle, e.g., Bertha TBM tunnel: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/potholes.htm
As a native born 65 year old Seattleite who’s always lived here, I’m now seriously thinking that “Move [my ass out of] Seattle” would now likely be a much better idea. Vote NO on this joke of a wrong-headed priorities & funded levy! Also vote out the clowns who propose it & appoint SDOT idiots from Chicago to slowly strangle & destroy Seattle with ridiculous designs that add to congestion without even maintaining the existing infrastructure — the worst ever condition I’ve seen it in my lifetime. Let’s allow even more 5 to 7 story apt. monstrosities everywhere to further degrade our neighborhoods & over-stress transportation & other publicly owned facilities, i.e., the “Tragedy of the Commons”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons
Thanks, Eric and Cathy. I agree with Eric’s insight regarding downtown bureaucrats behaving as if neighborhood activists know nothing. Add the School District and Parks Department administrations to that group as well. It should not have to be a constant battle to allow responsible input, but it is. Been that way as long as I have lived in Wallingford since the late eighties. Fortunately, at least we used to be able to invest hundreds of hours and turn them around. You have done the same. Good job!
Scott Kubly appears dangerously egotistical and should be dismissed, just based on the appearances I have witnessed before the Council. I do not understand what SDOT does with all the money we throw at them. Probably not used for learning their manners. Not surprised to hear that he went off on you, Eric.
Any thoughts about trying to locate the bike crossing of I-5 on the south of 45th, rather than making bikes on the Greenway cross 45th and then again to get to the U and train station? Turn a block or so south to cross and you could possibly miss the entrance ramp and run straight to the train station at Brooklyn without weaving back and forth. Plan for the long term.
@9, what is this greenway you speak of?
As one who lives north of 50th, I think 47th is a good compromise. Halfway between the two options to cross under I-5 at 40th or 65th.
For me, this is more of a pedestrian thing. Eastbound, it’s foolish to ride downhill through unmarked intersections. Westbound, most riders would have to cross 45th at some point, probably 5th NE, which seems like a hassle compared to N 47th.