NE 65th St Town Hall at Ravenna-Eckstein CC (LIVE COVERAGE; UPDATE)

On Monday, August 12, from 6:45-8 PM, Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle Department of Transportation will hold a town hall-style meeting at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Ave NE).

City officials will be on hand to to address residents’ and area business owners’ concerns about the Bicycle Master Plan Draft Update and the potential role NE 65th Street may play in it.

Our live coverage of the meeting will begin below, around 6:45 PM.

UPDATE (Thursday, August 15): The Seattle Channel has posted their video of the event, and you can watch it right here (Flash required):

 

 

Rebecca August 12, 20138:48 PM

Adjourned! Stack some chairs!

Rebecca August 12, 20138:37 PM

Mayor, in closing: Glad to hear more concerns, and provide a way for neighbors to hear each other.

I don’t get the final word. That’s City Council.

Types of things he’ll be thinking about: Access issues, interaction with transit. What will drive me the most will be safety. Public safety isn’t all police and fire. High causes of death in the city is gunshots, traffic fatalities, drownings. Strong interaction between design of street and safety of drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

One of the questions I will ask now, looking at 65th, 63rd, 68th: what are the alternatives, and how do they measure up?

Takes the public safety issues very seriously.

Approaching the issue now with a deeper understanding because of tonight. Thank you.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:32 PM

Last commenter: New Ida Culver resident. Strong concerns about aid car access and getting help out of cars at the entrance.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:31 PM

Andrew Miller: NO on bike lanes. Would like to remove ALL bikes off 65th, and busy arterials. Adding a few percent of customers will not replace the larger precent that will leave. And why are the desires of the of the super minority (bikes) put above those of the super majority (vehicle drivers).

Rebecca August 12, 20138:27 PM

Long time resident, sharing concerns. 75th is a drag strip. 40 MPH, 50 MPH right in front of a middle school. Can’t believe it’s gone one so long. Let’s fix things NOW.

I bike with my kids, but never use 65th. But I can’t believe how few people don’t stop for pedestrians at marked or unmarked crosswalks. Let’s ALL change that as we walk out of here tonight.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:25 PM

McCarthey & Schiering owner. Against the lanes. Never seen a cyclist with a 40 pound box of wine on his/her bike. Sent out a email today with our take and got 200 responses, 95% also against it.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:21 PM

Local resident. Busses 65th, drives 65th. I do not ride my bike on 65th because I value my safety. But I WANT to. I’d like protected lanes.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:19 PM

UW commuter, also takes 65th to Green Lake. I love the 65th businesses. I love biking to those places. Protected lane or not, I will be biking or riding there. Almost got hit last year, but I’m still using it. Add a cycle track and make it safer for everyone, or leave it less safe.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:17 PM

Why is it so us versus them? I like knowing where cars/cyclists are going to be. I spend more money and stop more if I’m on foot or going slower (bike or bus).

Rebecca August 12, 20138:16 PM

Lifelong NE Seattleite, with kids: People will still ride on 65th, no matter what. We keep saying we’re concerned, we’re afraid. Afraid this will damage local businesses. We could make it safe for ALL of us.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:15 PM

Jakob with the Seattle Pedestrian Board. Everybody in this room needs to take responsibility for the streets, including the sidewalks. Trimming back trees on private property. Correct placement of sandwich boards.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:14 PM

[Well-spoken guy here, and I missed what he said. Watch that Seattle Channel video for this guy.]

Rebecca August 12, 20138:12 PM

Use this as a chance to engage residents and the city and SDOT and talk TOGETHER about making a change in this neighborhood TOGETHER.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:11 PM

Mom of a 2yo: Recently honked at while trying to cross 65th. Not feeling safe walking 65th, so drives out of the neighborhood to spend money.

Also very concerned for Roosevelt HS students she sees crossing 65th.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:10 PM

Year-round cyclist: 68th street is my choice for a greenway. High speed a concern in 68th, as people use it to get around 65th. Send them to 65th, and keep 68th slow.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:08 PM

Every day cyclist on 65th: Supports the track on 65th. Cyclists are going to be there anyway.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:08 PM

Cyclist who comes down 65th one or two times a week: Lots of people passing through, maybe they’d stop at your businesses if they felt it were safer.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:07 PM

Local business owner along 65th. Clinic takes everybody. Have 4 spots out front now, lots of folks take the bus to get to her. Concern for their safety, and others.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:06 PM

Neighbor and cyclists: We want these businesses to thrive. I have to use 65th to get to 63rd. Every morning, it is a major major threat to my life to get over 65th. Speed the issue down the hills, between 20th and 25th. Let’s consider a compromise: Allow for safety for folks like me, and Ida Culver. Better crosswalks would benefit everyone.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:04 PM

Jolene the downtown bicycle commuter and driver: We all want to be safe. Appreciate the city thinking aggressively about climate. Accident on Eastlake last year. Thrown into traffic. A separate lane is very much appreciated.

Economics: I choose where I go after work by where I can get to by foot or bike.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:02 PM

Comments can be sent in to bmpupdate@seattle.gov.

Rebecca August 12, 20138:01 PM

Older ex-cyclists. Gotta give more notice for public comment. One month was not enough. (Applause).

O’Neill: Draft out for six weeks. City Council wanted to work it into the next round of budget deliberations. Now, due to so much interest, comment has been extended. Likely to be extended again, when Council gets the final proposal.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:58 PM

Jorgen Bader! Three questions.

Mayor McGinn: No hearings yet. Notices will go out to those who have signed in into the future, yes. And he’ll listen to SDOT’s recommendations when he gets them.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:56 PM

Cyclist who commutes, and who has been struck: Enjoys the separated lanes for safety and access to local businesses.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:55 PM

Second of two cyclists saying they do not want to see a cycle track on 65th. Mentioning hills specifically. Can’t be done for all ages and abilities.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:54 PM

[Now is a good time to mention that Seattle Channel is here, and this meeting will be available online in a couple days. And I'll link to it here.]

Rebecca August 12, 20137:53 PM

O’Neill: This is a city-wide plan. Can’t get to everybody that they’d like to. Been to local community associations, various chamber organizations. This meeting is also apart of that outreach.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:51 PM

David who lives just a block from here, and is on the RECC advisory board: I support greenways, not the cycle track. Concern that neighborhood found out late about the BMP update process, and this has not been done in a timely manner. Timely for the cyclists, not the neighborhood. (huge applause)

Rebecca August 12, 20137:49 PM

Bike traffic would slow speeds on 65th to 10 MPH? Do we have data on that now? Is there a model we could look at for 65th? numbers on bike/vehicle collisions? Traffic light bikes first, how do you feel about those?

Chang: Rechannelization near intersections and fewer lanes where numbers are <22K actually help traffic flow. (Had this discussion about areas of 75th.) 65th/Sand Point bike facility will get a revisit: Bikes/Peds will have a green light AHEAD of cars, to help with right turns at the intersection.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:44 PM

John Steward: Challenge with Park department improving area near parks, for, say, greenways?

O’Neill: Been talking with Parks. Very interested in connections TO parks, a little trepidation about connections THROUGH parks. Conversations will continue.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:42 PM

Advocate for the 65th/Sand Point bike facilities, but NOT for more on 65th. Would hurt parking. NE Seattle has the worst connections to the rest of the city. Support the vitality of the businesses that are here now.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:41 PM

Ravenna resident for greenways. Prefers bus to have good access to the curb, not out in the middle of the street for loading.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:40 PM

Brock with the Cascade Bicycle Club. Unique opportunity with 65th as an east-west connection for improved bike facilities.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:39 PM

(FYI: I’m not able to keep up with all the comments, but I’m doing my best.)

Rebecca August 12, 20137:37 PM

Q: Ida Culver resident. Afraid that plan will lead to disaster for ME. And his friends. Emergency vehicles would lose access.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:37 PM

Q: Why 65th?

A (O’Neill): Was desired by the public, and 65th has good access between Green Lake and Roosevelt (other streets that might be greenways do not).

Q: How much did the redo at 65th/Sand Point cost? Upwards or $250K?

A: (Chang for SDOT) More like $150K. Pedestrian improvements were made in addition to bike facilities.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:34 PM

Q: Woman mentioning the Seattle Transit Blog article about how businesses along 65th near Latona benefitted from the road changes. Uses bike lanes now.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:32 PM

Q: There is no business master plan. This is a dream killer. I don’t want to spend all my energy being against something. Greenways are safer. I request that 65th be taken off the map. (Lots of applause) David Katz of Ravenna Interiors.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:30 PM

Questions! Everybody is supposed to keep it to a minute. Loooooooong line.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:29 PM

Council approval likely in late 2013. BMP will include a prioritization process that will help determine long-term implementation of the plan. (Downtown very likely will go first.)

Rebecca August 12, 20137:27 PM

So many comments, next step in the recommendation process likely to take place in November, NOT September which was the original timeline.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:25 PM

Some alternatives to a facility on NE 65th St that folks have mentioned? Greenways on 68th, 63rd.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:23 PM

First round of public engagement in spring of 2012. Online tool where folks could draw on a map and illustrate where people would like to ride more. NE 65th St was desired by many.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:21 PM

Looking at different types of cycle tracks now, in use in other cities, and also the Linden Ave N cycle track and the track at Alki (where the bike lane is on the sidewalk side of parked cars, and not in the street).

Rebecca August 12, 20137:20 PM

After the plan is adopted, different bids are adopted over a longer period a time. There are no current plans for 65th. Later, there may be. And at that point, it would be looked at as a possibility. Needs to pass a rubric (works for all? would be well used?), then the data would have to make sense. And at each point in the process, the public would be a part of the process.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:20 PM

After the plan is adopted, different bids are adopted over a longer period a time. There are no current plans for 65th. Later, there may be. And at that point, it would be looked at as a possibility. Needs to pass a rubric (works for all? would be well used?), then the data would have to make sense. And at each point in the process, the public would be a part of the process.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:17 PM

O’Neill mentioning that Ravenna Boulevard also needs more work. Applause for that, too.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:16 PM

200 miles of greenways in this latest version of the BMP. (Earlier version had under 20 miles. Focus was on arterials.)

Rebecca August 12, 20137:16 PM

Looking at common destinations in NE Seattle. The corridor of NE 65th St is a destination. But that doesn’t mean it has to be THE way to get there with new facilities. (Applause at that.)

Rebecca August 12, 20137:14 PM

[I believe these slides are the same as those used at the Roosevelt HS BMP open house. And I believe those are available online.]

Rebecca August 12, 20137:13 PM

Draft Plan released for public review on June 5. Open houses held in various parts of the city. 1,400 comments on the draft plan so far. Document will be altered based on those comments.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:12 PM

Can’t do anything about weather and hills, but SAFETY can be improved, for cyclists and everyone.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:11 PM

Slides up now. BMP adopted in 2007, update planned for five years after. Update to incorporate fast-evolving best practices in bicycle facility design. (For example, sharrows are now longer considered the way to go; more separation is.)

Rebecca August 12, 20137:10 PM

Kevin O’Neill from SDOT up now.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:09 PM

Final recommendations will go to the mayor. He will red light it, or green light it to move on to the City Council for a vote.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:08 PM

This meeting is an extension of the comment period for the most recent update. SDOT has not provided the mayor’s office with final recommendations, but he has been briefed on the latest.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:07 PM

BMP meant to be updated five years after it first came about. Heard that people want safer bike facilities. City-wide, greenways happening in more residential areas, and separated facilities in busier areas/arterials.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:05 PM

Mayor speaking now. Mentioning that people spoke of the BMP concerns at the candidate forum at Magnuson Park last month, and he said he’d come back to talk about it more.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:02 PM

Pitch for the RBCA. Next meeting is September 3 here, at the RECC. ravennabryant.org, and also on Facebook.

Rebecca August 12, 20137:00 PM

About ready to start. I believe our MC for the evening is Sarah Swanberg of the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association.

Rebecca August 12, 20136:57 PM

There were two hundred chairs put out earlier today by the teens of Ravenna-Eckstein. They are ALL occupied. And more have been brought in.

Rebecca August 12, 20136:56 PM

Here!

Comments

  1. You should clarify that “applause” doesn’t indicate that not everyone is applauding.

    • Oops, I have an extra not in there.

      • Eh, we get your meaning. No worries.

        As for the applause bit, I think readers know I don’t mean everyone. Especially with over 250 people in the room. I treated each sides’ applause the same, though, noting when it was especially loud and such.

        Background: With live coverage like this, I’m trying to catch the moment as accurately as I can, as neutrally as I can, as fast as I can. This one was tougher than most, for technological reasons, passionate speaker-related reasons, and comfort reasons (I was sitting on the gym floor, typing on a bench, and had to stand up to see the speakers). Fortunately, we’ll have the Seattle Channel footage soon for the whole enchilada, should people want to see the event for themselves.

  2. Ulysses Hillard says:

    I didn’t have the heart to show up. You are my hero, R.

  3. 63rd and 68rh are not viable biking streets as the grades are much too steep. 65th makes complete sense. Except the business corridor and Ida Culver present obstacles to a cycle track between 20th and 25th. I bike 65th all the time. And I drive it as well. Separated bike lanes would be really nice if they covered the street except for the aforementioned stretch.

    • There are cycle track configurations that put both lanes on just one side of the street. Say, the non-Ida Culver side.

      But this phase of the BMP update is not the individual project design phase. It’s the “hey, people have shown an interest in having more bike facilities to and from this area, so we should talk about that later down the road, and ask City Council for some money now to fund some of it just in case” phase.

  4. Stephanie says:

    This quote from the Mayor, ” Public safety isn’t all police and fire. High causes of death in the city is gunshots, traffic fatalities, drownings.”

    As I wasn’t present so don’t know the vibe, but did it come across as a finger to the residents of Ida Culver?

    • I was present, and it didn’t seem to me that it was a finger to residents. It was more that he was saying, “Public safety is my job, and here’s the state of public safety in Seattle.” I don’t think the Mayor is a particularly subtle guy.

      • Stephanie says:

        Thanks Cam for the feedback on the meeting tone. I’ll take away that the Mayor had a pre-rehearsed statement that really makes no sense for the topic of the meeting. Concerns about a cycle track along 65th. (Politics)

        Genuine question and no snark. If there are designated cycle lanes in both directions on 75th (within one year the intent by SDOT is to reduce car travel to one direction in each lane and designated cycle lanes in each direction), the Burke-Gilman trail (no motorized vehicles) and cycle tracks on 65th, where is it intended that cars traveling east/west or west/east will travel?

        Based on experience I presume that the cars will zoom through currently low traffic side streets like they do now if 25th Ave or 65th are congested because of a major event at UW. We live very close to 68th St. where there are roundabouts or yield signs at every intersection but cars zoom through to avoid congestion if 65th or 25th Ave. are backed up.

        I’m not guessing or fear mongering just sharing real life experience. If the last east/west arterial in our neighborhood for cars is taken away — where will those cars go? Again, genuine question. I have not been able to locate an impact study done that removes all east/west routes for cars and the impact to side streets bordering 75th and 65th.

        And I’ll also toss in there — if you are a frequent bicyclist what are the issues with traveling on the Burke-Gilman? I walk or drive so do not truly understand why the Burke-Gilman is not a favored route. It seems ideal — but again — I’m not a bicyclist so don’t understand.

        Thank you.

        • Andres Salomon says:

          The Burke-Gilman *is* a favored route. It is, however, out of the way if you live near 65th. A trip from Bryant to Roosevelt is roughly 2mi if I take 65th. If I take the Burke, that turns it into a 4 or 5mi trip (depending which way I go).

          As far as 75th, the intent is to optimize car travel, not block it. Cars should still use 75th. They will travel a bit more slowly (closer to the speed limit), and it should be less stressful (less jockeying for position between two lanes, less rapid merging while trying to pass people who are turning left, and so on). It will remain an arterial for cars. You can see examples of road diets all over Seattle where traffic has not been impacted (Stone Way is a good example – http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/docs/StoneWaybeforeafterFINAL.pdf ).

          • Stephanie says:

            Thank you Andres for your response. I hate the fighting – so thank you so much for your reasonable response and sharing your perspective. I didn’t think 75th would be blocked. But, if 75th is reduced from two lanes of car traffic to one, and the same for 65th — where will the cars go? That is my big question. Right now if there is a big event at the UW and 65th and 25th are congested then cars race up and down 68th despite the roundabouts at every intersection. That is my personal reality so my mama bear dander goes up at the danger posed to my family.

            I will continue to support the Ravenna and Wedgwood businesses. We walk to them vs. drive and that won’t change. So the Stone Way study does not alleviate my concerns. But, very happy for the businesses and cyclists along Stone Way!

            My NIMBY concern is if all East/West, West/East arterials for car traffic in our little peninsula are removed how will my relatively calm and safe side street (within one block of 65th and one block of 25th) remain relatively calm and safe?

            If bicyclists have 75th St. and the Burke-Gilman as east/west routes what are the compelling reasons to also include 65th? Again, not trying to be trying but I feel like I am missing something.

            I know I am looking inward as I know I will not change to move around by bike even if a cycle track exists… I’m just not willing to deal with the hills (always present) and the rain (mostly present) not matter what. But that is me. I think calm side streets are a value to pedestrians, families and I’ll guess bikers. Taking away the last east/west roadway for motorists seems to endanger so much of the surrounding community. That is my biggest concern with including a cycle track on 65th.

            I am very willing to be educated and convinced if there is evidence/studies that show car traffic will not move to the side streets.

          • It’s hard to say without an actual design, but other road diets the city has done have not significantly affected traffic volumes on those streets. Between the poor audio quality and his accent, it was hard to understand Dongho Chang (the traffic engineer at the meeting), but the point he was making was that the current traffic configuration on 65th and 75th is inefficient and that he can do better while still accommodating bikes.

            On 65th the traffic volumes aren’t even the main issue since it already narrows to two lanes at several key locations. This discussion is really about parking.

        • I don’t even think it was a pre-rehearsed statement, exactly. Not in that Politics! way. More like “this is the stuff he mutters to himself in the shower” sort of way. I think the Mayor was a tired guy who’s thought a lot about the meaning of public safety and the responsibilities of his job, and had probably been working for about fifteen hours straight, the previous two of which had consisted of listening to a lot of shouting. (Much of it fairly aimless, ill-informed shouting. I don’t know how those guys put up with it. Do urban planners take classes in sitting through town hall meetings? They must. It’s a heroic display of patience.) Eventually a person just gets tired enough that he starts going down a well-worn mental track, and I think that was him at that moment.

          What most attracts me, a relatively weak cyclist, to the creation of a safe, doable east-west connection is that it would get me *to* the Burke-Gilman trail without my feeling like I’m taking my life into my hands. The BG is great, but we need to build good connections to and from it. I’m not particularly wedded to 65th myself, but a number of speakers made a strong point that bicyclists will be going up 65th no matter what; as Karen points out, it’s the street with the best grade.

        • I didn’t think that was a snub at all. Traffic injuries and fatalities should be of concern to residents of the Ida Culver house. The roadways around the residence hold high speed traffic, and high speed traffic kills people. Elderly folks are especially vulnerable, and I have a deeply personal family tragedy to show for it. If my inlaws who are getting on in age were to move to Seattle, I wouldn’t want them to live at the Ida Culver house because of the unsafe street out their front door. Of course any bikeway on 65th wouldn’t make it impossible for emergency support to get to the Culver house.

          The traffic volume shows that 65th is well within the range that could be rechannelized to little detriment, though our perceptions may push us to think otherwise. Our perceptions don’t always match up with real data. Look, I drive on 65th several days a week during commute times and school pick-up times at 3 p.m. It’s terribly configured for cars right now. Adding some predictability and channelization would make it a better flowing street and a safer street at the same time. I’ve observed, as have many others, that there is a ton of free, unused car parking along 65th, just east of 25th and west of 20th. Plus, there is the big parking area at 21st. I’ve used it.

          As far as the Burke-Gilman, yes it is a preferred route and connects many origins and destinations. I use it often, and plan my bike trips and dollars spent around it. It does not, however, connect my family home to Roosevelt HS or to the Roosevelt and Ravenna business districts and light rail. Neither would the other routes mentioned. I’m not opposed to them, but they don’t offer the continuous connection that 65th would.

  5. It’s always scary to be surrounded by a bunch of NIMBYs.

    Despite the presentation and despite all the info available online, lots of people there were unwilling to let go of the misconceptions in their heads. They were acting as if the city is about to pull the trigger on a project that will create a massive cycle track on 65th between Greek Lake and Sand Point way. They were refusing to listen to what is being proposed and they were unwilling to admit that some sections of 65th could/should be made more bike-friendly. The process of the BMP was ignored by them.

    I do get that there may have been a communication breakdown with informing residents of the BMP in general. But many residents are using that as an excuse to poop on the concept of safer cycling on 65th. I actually left the meeting more scared of the community I’ve lived in for the past 15 years.

    • I’m really frustrated my prior work commitments meant I didn’t get home until the meeting was over. Don’t let the NIMBYs get you down. I’ve been dealing with NIMBY’s professionally for most of my adult career. Some you can find areas of agreement over time when armed with facts and patience. Others are just bullies who don’t want to hear about anything that contradicts their own biases – for them, you just need to stand up and stand strong.

    • “I actually left the meeting more scared of the community I’ve lived in for the past 15 years.”

      I hear that. I was disturbed to hear some of the anti-cycletrack people behind me actually booing their neighbors at the microphone. Uncool.

      • Some folks gotta act their shoe size and not their age. Unfortunately.

        • Actually heard booing from both sides. But really, you’re “scared of the community.” Give me a break. Be scared of a flu pandemic or major earthquake, but people against a waste of money cycle track? To quote Gob Bluthe, “Come on!” I heard a lot of safety talk and one speaker actually stated she’d like to teach her kids how to ride her bike on 65th. Yeah that makes sense. For the lady who is afraid to make a left turn onto Ravenna to get to 63rd, try the ‘Copenhagen’ turn, its safe, you cross with traffic and you avoid the merge. If your safety is that important to you, you’d do it. But if your time is more important than your safety, then by all means, continue to merge and then turn. If the environment is your issue, cycling an extra block or two will just add to your green cred. I’ve rode my bike in Seattle for 25+ years and avoided arterial’s at all cost, mostly because I don’t have a death wish, and I understand cars moving quickly and efficiently is a good thing. I also don’t understand people complaining about safety and then stating they will ride 65th anyway if a greenway is present a convenient block north. So you want safety, but are not willing to take the safest route? Perplexing.

          The green way proposal on 68th makes a lot of sense. Other than the hill between 19th and 20th its relatively easy and climb-able grade. Again for the environment, you really shouldn’t care. But it connects to 15th and its a short 100ft jog up to 68th behind Roosevelt and all the way to 8th/I-5. From there a cyclist or motorist can choose to go two short blocks on shallow grade to NE 70th (12th the best option) where one can cross I-5 or south down to 65th. You can actually avoid it all and go down to 66th and take that all the way to the transit hub. Not to mention 68th will dump you off at the long anticipated light rail station.

          • Bringing up the Copenhagen turn reminds me: Where’s the education arm of SDOT in regards to all this new bicycle infrastructure stuff? I’m still not quite sure what the green boxes represent, except for what I’ve sussed out in context, while driving near one.

            Maybe this is part of the communication gap with SDOT that was mentioned at the meeting? I know we can’t expect O’Neill or Chang or the mayor to walk through our neighborhoods knocking on doors and handing out flyers about every local concern. But not everybody can just jump on the Google and find the answers/meeting information either.

            Tell more people about this site, for starters.

        • I just moved from Capitol Hill to Ravenna where the word NIMBY gets bandied around like a weapon. It’s a ridiculous term. We ALL have things we don’t want in our backyards. Cell towers, crack heads, used syringes, feces, toxic waste. We ALL want to have safe, pleasant neighborhoods. And I honestly do believe that for the most part we ALL want our neighbors to be happy, and healthy. The bottom line is Seattle is changing. Since I moved to Seattle in 1990 the city has grown by 100,000 people. And we need to admit that the climate is in dire straights and obesity is on the rise. I think that we all know that making the city easy to bike and walk is imperative if we as a city are going to continue to grow in a healthy way.
          However after being a resident on Capitol Hill for the past 22 years I have to say that I don’t always trust city planners or our mayor to know what’s best for our neighborhoods. The job of a good city planner is simply to decrease stress for the occupants of a neighborhood. To make a neighborhood easy to work in, shop in, play in, learn in, and travel within and through.
          As Ravenna becomes more “dense” there will ideally be more people taking public transportation, and biking. But realistically there will be more cars as well with the influx of residents. Our mayor has made it so that many of the high density apartment buildings being put in around Light Rail hubs will not be required to have parking. So that potentially means more cars on the streets. Now if 65th becomes two lanes with no parking instead of 4 during peak hours we WILL have more people jogging onto side streets. These people are already in a rush and now they’re angry because of traffic back-ups. Will they be traveling at 25 mph? They didn’t on Capitol Hill. Will people be weaving in and out of traffic trying to get around parked cars on side streets, and will they be aggravated? They were on the hill. Will we ultimately have to park a block and a half away from our homes and walk to our homes with small kids and 4 bags of groceries? People do on the hill. We can say that as using a car becomes more unpleasant we will stop using them as much and start taking public transportation, walking and cycling more. Hopefully that is exactly what will happen. And hopefully our neighborhood will not become a place that is full of frustrated drivers, and frustrated residents, and frustrated shoppers, and fearful cyclists. But I worry that it may.
          Now all this being said, I absolutely believe there should be some sort of safe bike lane for cyclists going east/west and hooking up with BGT. My husband has biked this city for 20 years, and has had his share of accidents and doorings and has been hurt pretty severely. And since I don’t bike and don’t feel like I have enough info to make a good informed decision I can’t say for sure if there are other good options besides 65th. It seems like where 65th gets particularly congested right around 18th to 25th there might be a way to direct cyclists onto 63rd and maybe over the ravine using the footbridges (modified to be bike AND pedestrian friendly) to get cyclists to 25th and the BGT.
          Anyway I’ve digressed. My response is directed more at the name calling. People get up in arms and become rude (booing) and belligerent when they feel scared and disenfranchised. And as the city expands there are going to be some growing pains involved and some of us are more resilient than others when it comes to change, but simply standing there and calling people NIMBY is not helpful.

          • Car total VMT has been flat in Seattle Metro for a decade (meaning VMT per capita has been decreasing). Of course this trend may change, but there is no indication that it will.

            There is no design on the table for 65th aside from a conceptual “this is a desirable corridor but we would need a separated facility on it”, but the city has done other rechannelizations without impacting the car capacity of the affected streets. It’s counter intuitive, but frequently more space leads to less capacity as cars jockey for position and make turns without turning lanes.

          • Thank you for your insights, Darcy. Particularly the bit about the NIMBY term.

            During the hot and heavy Roosevelt Rezone Days, the term got thrown this direction frequently by Capitol Hill and/or pro-density folks. And then when the Bauhaus block was moved on by a developer, many of these same folks were outraged.

            Embrace your inner NIMBY! Because we’ve all got one.

  6. Never seen a cyclist with a 40 pound box of wine on his/her bike.

    Then he’s not paying enough attention. I’ve carried an oak half-barrel home on mine, admittedly not directly past his shop, but a few blocks away. I might have biked directly past his place with a christmas tree once; I don’t remember what route I took.

    • Andres Salomon says:

      My record for weight biking over NE 65th (from 15th Ave to 39th Ave) on my cargo bike was the time my wife asked me to pick up two 50lb dumbbells (seriously). I also had my 25-30lb toddler with me. Compared to that, 40lbs isn’t bad. :)

      • 40 pounds, that’s nothing. I carried an entire person and a small bicycle past his shop a couple of weeks ago attached to my cargo bike. I regularly do all my family of four’s weeks-worth of grocery shopping via cargo bike as well, including milk and wine. I’m not an “athlete” as many seem to think people who bike are.

    • Being on my bicycle is the biggest reason I decide to go into the wine store!

  7. James Callahan says:

    Fortunately, our Mayor stepped in it tonight by saying “Public safety isn’t all police and fire”. Mr. Mayor, to Seniors, its EVERYTHING. You showed your true colors. Now that your term is ending, I wonder what Mr. Murray thinks about disrupting our neighborhood economic engines, small businesses ???????

  8. I can honestly say that the moment I get in my car, all of the local businesses in my neighborhood have lost my dollar. And that’s why I don’t get in my car when I want to spend money in my neighborhood. I, along with many people in my neighborhood, support local businesses in the community while on foot, bike or transit.

    Protected bike lanes are not only good for people who want to ride their bike, they are good for business. Data from New York City DOT shows that local businesses next to protected bike lanes in Manhattan have seen a 49 percent increase in sales, compared to an average of 3 percent for all of Manhattan. NE 65th Street has a variety of local businesses that could benefit from these improvements. Studies on a section of NE 65th Street between Ravenna and Tangletown (just down the street) and in Portland show the same results — better bicycling facilities equals more business.

    Another study out of Portland shows that customers arriving by bicycle spend, on average, more per month than those who arrive by car. The study explains how, although people arriving by bicycle might not spend as much as someone arriving by car in a single trip, the people arriving by bicycling frequent the local businesses more times per month than those arriving by car. The result is that people on bicycles end up spending more per month.

    The same studies from NYC DOT showed a 35 percent decrease in injuries to ALL street users on 8th Avenue and a 58 percent decrease in injuries to ALL street user on 9th Avenue – both roads with protected bike lanes.

    Overall, having safe places for families to bike and walk on NE 65th Street will not only benefit those using the improvements, but it will benefit businesses as well.

  9. I’ll state my bias: I’m very pro-bike, but it’s not my primary mode. I drive the most, walk quite a bit, and bike the least.

    I have more questions on the matter than I have opinions.

    I guess the one opinion I have and it’s a strong one is that 65th in its current iteration is regardless of your mode of transportation. As a driver it’s just weird in that it’s 4 lanes wide in many spots, but not in all spots, and there’s no marked lanes, so when you’re passing or being passed you’re wondering “wait, is there a passing lane?” Aside from the ambiguity, there’s always a lot of jockeying, which is stressful as a driver. The jocking is unnerving for cyclists and pedestrians with some cars doing (estimated) 40 mph as they try to pass another car going 30 mph.

    As I see density increasing near the light rail and population increasing I think it’s a good thing, but I do think about how traffic is going to continue to increase and how will the streets handle it since they currently don’t handle things that great.

    There aren’t a lot of good alternate routes going east-west. There’s a lot of breaks, obstacles, dead ends on the side streets. If there was going to be a cycling route on side streets, I think that would be fine. I think since there would need to be a number of turns that a stripe in the road to follow the route is something I’d want to see as opposed to the little cycling route signs, which are easy to miss.

    I do wonder how important is it to connect Green Lake all the way to Magnusson. Magnusson is a nice park and the Burke Gilman goes through there, but otherwise, Sandpoint doesn’t seem to have much going for it.

    • “I guess the one opinion I have and it’s a strong one is that 65th in its current iteration is regardless of your mode of transportation. As a driver it’s just weird in that it’s 4 lanes wide in many spots, but not in all spots, and there’s no marked lanes, so when you’re passing or being passed you’re wondering “wait, is there a passing lane?” Aside from the ambiguity, there’s always a lot of jockeying, which is stressful as a driver. The jocking is unnerving for cyclists and pedestrians with some cars doing (estimated) 40 mph as they try to pass another car going 30 mph.”

      This is actually one of my main complaints about NE 65th, bike infrastructure aside. I think a cycle track could help solve the problem by forcing SDOT to rethink that section of the 65th, but there are certainly other ways it could be done (widen sidewalks, add a planter strip, etc).

      My selfish inner child mostly wants a better bike connection from Vios to Roosevelt and Green Lake. It’d be nice if east of there was a nice walkable business district, but if that’s not what the businesses there want, then I guess I can walk to Roosevelt or ride to Green Lake/U-District.

      Naturally, cyclists living east of me may have a different opinion!

  10. I was impressed by the turn out and was very pleased that it took place. Had I gotten the nerve to speak, I would have spoken a bit about being a good neighbor. A common trait of a good neighbor is their ability to adapt to change as the neighborhood evolves. I have had the good fortune to live in several neighborhoods around Seattle and each one has required me to adapt as it has changed. In Belltown, I didn’t have a garage spot and the street was metered so I would drive to work and get work to reimburse my parking. In Capitol Hill, parking was tricky, but as I learned the neighborhood dynamic, suddenly I knew where to find a spot. In Greenlake, there was a direct commuter bus to work but it dropped me off about 6 blocks away so I would bike and bus to shave off time. Now that my work has moved, the most efficient way for me to get to work is to bike. By car, it takes 12-35 minutes. By bike it takes 20-24 minutes whether there is traffic or not, rain or shine. But lots of variables can change and I’m ready to change my habits to improve. I constantly tweak my route and mode to verify there isn’t a better one. But back to being a good neighbor. Just like when someone new moves in next door, you don’t shun them because they can’t bbq like your old neighbor, you learn what they are good at and make the most of it. Good neighbors don’t post flyers with worst case scenarios when someone new moves in. If you own a wine shop, the best way of thinking is not to say I’ve never seen cyclist carrying a case of wine. The best way of thinking is maybe I can work with SDOT to add some 1 hour spots on the side street, add signage to direct people to the new parking, add a bike rack out front, encourage regulars to walk in by having wine tastings and use it as an opportunity to grow your business. If you live in Ida Culver, don’t assume there will be no emergency access. Think about ways the city can improve emergency access, maybe raise the awning so the ambulance can park right at the entrance and explore options like walking to meet your family on 23rd or suggest the cycle track be on the other side of the street. As a resident think about how your habits could change to increase parking to businesses, and how you can utilize the new facilities. As a cyclist think about how to best incorporate any new infrastructure into your daily routine for commuting, recreation or running errands. Also take into consideration if there are any new things to watch out for safety wise like turning traffic. Thinking like a good neighbor, respecting everyone’s opinion and doing things to embrace changes whether you agree with them or not will help make Ravenna a more thriving and vibrant place to live for everyone.

    • david katz says:

      David thank you for your thoughts. I have some comments in answer. At the meeting you would have heard Ida Culver residents say they need help getting in and out of vehicles in front of their building. there are 100 elderly people who live there. Many are not able to walk blocks away to do this as you propose. 23 ave N.E. is two blocks alone from the front door of the ida culver. From 20th NE, (3rd place books) to 35th NE the street is only wide enough for one lane each way for cars and the cycle track so if the track is moved across the street from ida culver, there is still no parking in front of their building. Bike racks are a good idea and we need more, I never thought about it because I ask cyclists to bring their bikes into my store, its safer, quicker and we have room.

      I have been much more careful driving around cyclists since learning about their needs at the many meetings and this has been and education for me. The side streets are already very full with residential and commercial parking even without the refugees from 65th invading those spaces and streets if a cycle track is built. There could be some one hour spots, they are not easy to enforce, but a possibility. Jay’s comment regarding bikes and carrying cases of wine was off the cuff, however please try to understand and visualize with the cycle track proposal we have no vehicle access to the front of our buildings for deliveries, or to load a truck with product going out. Small semi’s pull up to my store with marmoleum linoleum deliveries, these six foot rolls are heavy. That semi would have to park in the middle of a side street to unload, the truck is 45 feet long. There is no warehouse for me to pick it up it is shipped directly from Reno. That is only one delivery, think about UPS, Carpet delivery and pick up, food and service trucks for the restaurants, and the hundreds of other deliveries on that street to business where trucks could no longer stop. Jay at the wine store gets about 20 deliveries a week, the trucks would be parking over a block away with wine being hand trucked down the sidewalk. Again its ok if you do not care about us as a business, but to cripple a commercial street in so many ways is too much to ask, for everyone who has to use this to get through. Think about the 15 blocks from NE75th to NE 60th. NE 75th will next year get a bike lane on each side to slow traffic, many people want this and I think it should be done. NE 68th and NE60th are in the BMP as greenways and with a cycle track on NE65th…that is four designated bike lanes for one neighborhood. I support the greenways and I think it is the safest alternative for cycle travel. I said publicly at the meeting and in private with the mayor that I would contribute to the building of the greenways (the city needs money to get this plan done) along with that I would ask that NE 65th not be made into a cycle track. I would much rather work for the greenways and get them done than spend energy working against a cycle track. As a business community we could work together to build the greenways and make them available faster. I do not think enough people understand the magnitude of the sacrifice that is being asked of the neighbors of NE 65th with a cycle track. David I am considering all the things you point out, please try to visualize if you had a store and all car/truck access is now gone forever from the front of it. Please think of every neighbor hood side street for the five miles of this proposal and realize the parking and increased traffic that will result from the proposed change to NE 65th.

      I understand that channelization, realigning the traffic on the wider parts of 65th near the transit station and all along the route needs to be done. I think a cycle track could be done on half of 65th in the residential areas, if those residents can live with it. Also remember no one is talking about the greenlake end of NE 65th where the road is just as narrow, and parking is already full on both sides of the street. Sorry for the long post. thank you , Dave

      • Ida Culver has a garage which can be reconfigured, and the awning is 1 block from 23rd. It also has side exits. On Eastlake, delivery trucks park in the center turn lane. Delivery drivers are very good at getting to their customers. They aren’t delivery drivers if they can’t cross a lane of traffic and bike lane, walk a block with a hand cart and carry a certain amount of weight. A 6 foot roll of marmoleum can fit in smaller truck That 45 foot truck that comes from Reno isn’t the only source or truck that delivers marmoleum in the United States. Luckily for you, the cycle track isn’t going in tomorrow and may never go in. So, you in all likelihood have a few years to work through your first world problems.

        • david katz says:

          Actually the one distributor and manufacturer of marmoleum is the only source of marmoleum in the united states, and I will roll it to my store for a couple blocks if I have to. That is only one delivery of many, and does not address all the other product people will have to pick up or deliver, ony one example.
          Again its easy for you to invent solutions that don’t exist, there will be no room for a center turn lane from at least 20th ave ne to 35th ne. with a cycle track taking up a third of the road. The road is too narrow. As far as Ida Culver 23rd is already full of parked cars now and will be worse if all the parking is gone from ne 65th, so getting a car close to where that old person is will not be easy. yes they do have a small garage Your comment about NIMBYS at the town hall could not be further from the truth. People spoke from their personal experience, and made suggestions and everyone listened, and everyone who wanted to speak was heard, especially the boilerplate speech and slide show from SDOT. On this forum most of us have tried to treat you with respect despite your dismissive comments. I offered this to the mayor on our walk and at the public forum. We as a business community should be working together to raise money for greenways so they can be built on NE 60th and NE68th and we would gladly do it if the punitive idea of a cycle track for ne 65th was reconsidered. That way instead of lines on a map with no funding, they could actually be built.

          • Maybe they can put the cycle track on the other side of the street? :)

          • david katz says:

            Matt I will reply to you here, since I cant fit it under your comment. That is exactly one of the problems, there is only room for one cycle track and two lanes of traffic, whether the cycle track is on the left or the right of ne 65th it has the same impact of the parking, transit, and side street issues.

          • I was just making a joke.

            On a more serious note, this is really not the phase of planning where design considerations are taken into account, which is of course maddening for all parties. It’s difficult to separate the conceptual “yeah, this is an important thoroughfare” from “how can we possibly fit this stuff here?” Even if the answer to the first question is “yes”, the answer to the second is quite possibly “we can’t” or “it’s not economical to do so”. The problem is that the second question is years away from being asked and there is a lack of trust between parts of the community and SDOT that it’ll actually be asked at all.

            Anyway, as you say, the existing street width of 36′ does make it a bit tough to fit a cycle track in front of the Ravenna business district. OTOH, if you consider the entire right of way (60′ according to the Google Maps satellite photos), something like this might be possible:

            http://streetmix.net/-/22508

          • david katz says:

            Thanks I was hoping you were kidding regarding the earlier post. I agree with your comments in this last post. The issue is that in January the city council will vote to adopt this master plan. Then the 5 million that is available for the entire line will have to be allocated. Cycle tracks will most likely be built downtown first as Amazon is paying for two blocks along 7th avenue along with sidewalk redesign. However any money that becomes available can then be used to build the master plan. We are likely out years on NE65th. At the same time look how quickly money, resources and design fell into place to use bikeways to ‘calm’ NE75th street. You are welcome to come measure my street and sidewalks, 60 feet right of way goes through the front of both buildings on each side of the street. My browser does not support the streetmix, I will try to see it on my other laptop. If you are talking about taking out entire sidewalks then yes there is more width,
            I am not sure what needs to be done with the utility poles on both sides of the street in that case. A lot of greenways could be built for a cost of one cycle track on NE 65th that gives the illusion of safety to a minority of users and is so punitive to the majority of us who need that street open for all uses.

          • I’d be right with you on “build the greenways first”, aside from i5 crossings, which are hard to do in a greenway setting. Still it’s a 20 year plan and that’s a really long time. My two year old daughter will be finishing college when the end of this plan rolls through.

            Couldn’t say about the 60′ right of way. That’s just what the satellite photos say is there, give or take. FWIW, there was a fair bit of slack in my map, but I don’t know where the utility poles are, etc. I would generally rather leave the line on the map and have SDOT come back in ten years saying “yeah, there’s no practical way to do this” than to not even look at it because a bunch of amateur traffic designers (in which I count myself) said it wasn’t possible. I do agree that eliminating all parking in the NE 65th St business district is undesirable and unrealistic.

            I don’t know how to address the trust issue with SDOT. Any ideas?

          • david katz says:

            The utility poles are hard against the street side of the sidewalk with power on one side and Comcast on the other, sdot thot Comcast could move over to the utility side. I don’t have a lot of experience with sdot, I think there are good people there and, especially Kevin Oneal has a difficult job of being the face of this project to the public and connecting the lines on the map. He was forthcoming when he saw how narrow ne65th was between 20th and 35th ne and admitted on our walk that the entire road might not be suitable for a cycle track, he could only speak hypothetically. I imagine this department and every department has tremendous pressure from the mayor to push this thing through with as many bike lanes as possible. At the same time they are staffed with true believers in greenways, Peter Hahn who controls a staff of 700 and a 12 million dollar budget as director of sdot, and dongho chang the city traffic engineer travel and give seminars on the development of cycle greenways. I guess the trust issue is the process, as you have mentioned, the fund it through taxes, city council approval of a map and then actual planning of the final design and then at the end showing that to the public. Every other road project has feasibility work done up front, design, cost, and a plan the public can see much earlier in the process. Even with the proposed changes on ne75th people could pick from four designs. I also found it interesting that Peter Hahn left the front of the town hall meeting, and sat in the audience early on when the questions got interesting. I am not sure what that means, may be he is shy. Also sdot may have a different priority if the November vote brings a new mayor, although I think many of the same people will still be there. I think the mayor would like to fight this one after the election and keep it on the down low until then especially when he saw the sentiment in the room. At this point at the very least sdot understands that different sections of ne65th have different needs regarding a cycle track, and even in the face of that they prefer a ‘continuous’ route. another long post but this is all I know right now.

  11. The entire gymnasium of the Ravenna-Eckstein Center was filled for the Mayor’s town meeting, with people standing around all the walls. Between 300 and 400 people came. As measured by the applause and the number of those applauding, the overwhelming majority opposed the cycle track on N.E. 65th St. One speaker asked for a show of hands of the audience of those in favor and those opposed. Over 90% raised their hands in opposition. Sustained applause followed the remark of SDOT that it would consider an alternative to N.E. 65th St.; the remark of a speaker that SDOT had not given effective notice to the affected abutters and the community of its proposal; and of another speaker that SDOT ought to have drawn a sketch of its design of the roadway in Ravenna. Among all its poster boards, SDOT’s cited as its exemplar the cycle track built on N.E. 65th St. between Sand Point Way and the Burke Gilman Trail. That roadway is wider than N.E. 65th St. in Ravenna by at least four feet; and the cycle track there is at least 13 1/2 feet wide. .
    The Mayor stated that his recommended plan would not reach the City Council until mid-November. The City Council has cancelled all public comment periods that had been set for September on the plan. The City Council Transportation Committee anticipates that its public hearings will come in December.

    • Yeah, the room was definitely anti-bike lane, but we weren’t there to vote. We were there to raise concerns, they were raised, and now SDOT will attempt to address them. They may do that by altering the BMP draft, clarifying the contents of the BMP draft or some combination of both.

    • Yay! The unruly, misinformed, NIMBY mob rules again!

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Trackbacks

  1. […] For those of you who missed last night’s Town Hall Meeting with the Mayor about bike lanes on NE 65th Street, the Ravenna Blog has a summary. […]

  2. […] surprisingly strong opposition formed this summer, angry about the concept of a protected NE 65th Street bikeway being included in […]

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