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.