This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

Even before SDOT announced their intent to put Nickerson St. on a road diet, a pro-roads group gathered support from Magnolia and Queen Anne to try and kill it, forming a “15th Ave W coalition” whose believes “any proposal that reduces the carrying capacity of Nickerson [for trucks and automobiles] is unacceptable.”  Through luck and great work on SDOT’s part, a study has been released showing how wonderful the road diet there has been, mostly keeping vehicle capacity while strongly decreasing accidents and increasing bike flow.

A new group has been formed to support the Nickerson road diet.  If this is something you’d like to fight for, join the google group here.  (and yes, it’s sad that we have to fight for every mile of minor bike and pedestrian improvement in our city)

6 Replies to “Nickerson Road Diet Support Group”

  1. I am a big transit supporter, but I am sorry, I am not sure if I could support a road diet for Nickerson. I work for a temp agency, and one of my best assignments is in that area. That said, I do think Nickerson does need improvements, most likely, can they please repaint the crosswalks so motorists know the crosswalks exist! When I am working in that area, I report in early, so there is no traffic at that time(I am taking the Night Owl bus), but when I get off work it is in the middle of the day, and traffic is bad. Although some traffic jams on Nickerson can be due to the frequent openings and closings of the Ballard Bridge. I think bike lanes will work, but just not sure if they will be good for industrial areas.

  2. [ERf], I never pegged you as a nimby ;-)

    The thing about road diets (when done well, of course), is that they don’t reduce traffic capacity. All they do is better match the size of the road to the nearest bottlenecks. I live on Queen Anne and drive on Nickerson frequently, and the only traffic I’ve ever seen there was caused either by backups from 15th or from the Fremont bridge being up (though traffic usually ends by 3rd in that case). We could have a 40 lane Nickerson and it wouldn’t help those problems in the slightest, just as removing a lane won’t hurt traffic flow.

    Regarding the zebra striping, they removed those crosswalks because they were dangerous! Unless we added crossing lights for those crosswalks (and hear the same group yelling for that as well), or built pedestrian overpasses (ew), the road diet is our best option of making those crossings safe.

  3. Gotta luv it- three inadequate crosswalks > rebuilding of Nickerson but the crosswalks remain the same!. Not only that, but you get all the scrumptious goodness of the existing traffic, but moving more slowly with lots of extra gear shifting!

    Truckers like Nickerson because there are just two lights between the Ballard Bridge and the Fremont intersection, and then you can go down Westlake or Dexter, which also don’t have many lights. Without a passing lane, traffic will shuffle along at the speed of the truck and buses.

    Having lived for 10 years in the block of Dravus that runs into Nickerson (the one block of Dravus that is neither East nor West), it’s hard to see how anyone can hold a strong position for or against this. It does seem, however, that adding a few stoplights for crosswalks would achieve 90% of the ‘traffic calming’, and reduce considerably the incentive for drivers to use Nickerson, and in addition actually make it safer to cross the street.

  4. Nice work, Matt. It’s definitely worth fighting for. We need to get used to the idea that removing traffic lanes not only doesn’t impede traffic flow, but can be positive-sum for all forms of transportation.

  5. Matt, normally I am not. Although I was thinking, perhaps the bike lane will allow for a sidewalk to be built on Nickerson. So bad when I am assigned to the particular temp job I was talking about in the area, that I end up catching the 17 or the other Nickerson bus to only go a block or two to just get through the Ballard Bridge ramps, then use the stairs and underpass. That is coming home. Going to work, so little traffic at almost 5 AM, can do the double crossing pretty quick.

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