Moments ago, Mayor McGinn released his much-anticipated “Walk. Bike. Ride” initiative. Contrary to some earlier speculation, it is not a ballot measure, but a set of planning steps and some expenditures within the existing budget “to focus aggressively on early implementation of projects that will improve walking, biking, and neighborhoods.”
It’s not clear at the moment where the money in the budget is coming from, or the extent that these are new projects. [UPDATE: These are all being funded through existing Bridging the Gap or general fund appropriations.] The full press packet is here. We hope to get those answers soon, though I’m pretty sure the instant transit projects are ones already underway.
Key elements of the plan:
- an update to the Transit Master Plan, analyzing corridors, modes, and developing an implementation strategy. It also includes a feasibility study “of expanding light rail to Ballard and West Seattle.” We’d heard inklings of this before.
- For transit in 2010, bus bulbs and signal upgrades to 3rd Ave downtown and the Rainier/Jackson corridor; additional trolley wire to allow more 36s to be electric; and First Hill Streetcar route selection.
- 2010 pedestrian improvements in the Westlake Hub, Bell St. boulevard, summer streets, Aurora corridor transit plaza murals, and all-way walks at 1st & Cherry and 1st & University.
- 2010 bicycle lanes on Columbian Way, 125th St in Lake City, Roosevelt Way in Roosevelt, 7th Ave downtown, Nickerson St, and Greenwood Ave; a bicycle signal at Fremont & 105th.
- An update to the Bicycle Master Plan in 2011.
- A 2011-12 budget with more focus on city street maintenance and the bike/ped master plans.
This would appear to be one of those things where you really have to see what the new plans and the new budget are before you can evaluate their impact. Still, the general direction appears to be positive.