Earlier on our facebook page we shared a link to a new survey about attitudes towards bike infrastructure among Seattle voters. A few hours later, The Stranger did us all a favor and put up an infographic summarizing the key points. The results are pretty plain: Most people in Seattle like bikes and feeling unsafe on our streets is one of the main reasons people do not bike more in Seattle.
When it comes to transportation in Seattle, there is much more consensus about what needs to be done than some voices would have us think. 78% of the people surveyed stated that they were pro-bike. 60% of the people surveyed would like to ride more than they do today. 86% of the people surveyed support neighborhood greenways and 58% support building infrastructure that boosts safety for cyclists in Seattle, even if it calls for reconfiguring the roadway. That’s huge. Safe streets for everyone is a goal that almost everyone can agree on.
What’s more is that one of the biggest factors keeping people from getting on their bike is something that we have control over: Safety. 72% of those surveyed named feeling unsafe on the road as a barrier to getting on their bike, but we don’t have to settle for a bicycle network that only serves the most fearless cyclists. Neighborhood greenways help create an all ages and abilities alternative to biking on streets where less frequent riders routinely feel unsafe. Creating safe neighborhood connections with neighborhood greenways directly addresses a major barrier to biking and it turns out people think that is a good move for Seattle’s transportation mix.
Want to read the whole report? Check it out on Scribd!
[Source: The Stranger]
Update: The council did not vote on the resolution January 22nd and will instead be voting on February 11th.
This Tuesday (January 22nd) at 2:30 PM in the Council Chamber, the 520 Committee of the Seattle City Council will hopefully pass a resolution that finally gives WSDOT and city staff the authority to begin to fix the pedestrian and bicycle design flaws in the current plans. Most importantly, the resolution calls for
- Fixing the Montlake mess and creating a hub of family friendly connections. It is necessary to completely rethink the design of the Montlake area to make it safe for people of all ages and abilities. The standard for success must be that Montlake children are able to walk and bike around their neighborhood to school, to friends’ houses, to the library, and for the sheer joy of being able to explore your neighborhood as a kid. It is likely that a new design would also make the project cheaper while providing more value for nearby residents and the city.
- Continuing the SR 520 Trail to Capitol Hill. The design moving forward must examine how a trail can be incorporated into the Portage Bay Bridge design. The utilitarian needs for quality bicycle and pedestrian access to Capitol Hill and beyond should be paramount. There are still a few residents in the immediate proximity of the bridge who desire it to be as narrow as possible even at the expense of the trail, but the vast majority of Seattle residents would like to see the bridge have as little a visual impact as possible, while still providing connections for everyone whether they drive, take transit, walk, or bike.
- Designating a 520 champion. This is a common sense idea that originates from the Seattle Design Commission which allows one person at the city to keep track of the complicated design process. Currently such a unified response is lacking.
This resolution, if passed, would be a huge step forward. Please don’t leave this to chance! Please show up at 2:20 to give a short (2 minutes or less) public comment in support of the resolution, or jot your city councilmembers a quick email letting them know they have your support:
By supporting these common sense improvements to the current design, you join the ranks of many other Seattlites seeking a fair deal out of the new SR 520. Let’s recap who supports making the design better for people who walk and bike:
- Over 97% of the residents who responded to WSDOT’s public comment survey.
- Montlake Community Club
- Capitol Hill Community Council
- Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce
- Montlake Small Business
- Madison Park Community Council
- Laurelhusrt Community Club
- Sustainable Capitol Hill
- Seattle Design Commission
- Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board
- Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
- The outgoing Montlake PTA president
- Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Madison Park Greenways, Montlake Greenways, Central Seattle Greenways, Eastlake Greenways, and University Greenways
- Residents of Montlake, Portage Bay, Roanoke, University, First Hill, Eastlake, Madison Park, Laurelhurst, Capitol Hill, the Central District, and many other neighborhoods
- Seattle Bike Blog
- Cascade Bicycle Club
Thank you for your help in making sure that the new SR 520 reconnects our neighborhoods to each other, our kids to their schools, and creates a Seattle that we can all enjoy getting around regardless of our means of transportation!