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Eastlake BRT Open House

Designs for Move Seattle’s “RapidRide Plus” will be rolled over the next few years. It has become clearer of late that the “Plus” meant “Rapid Ride Plus Other Things”, not plus as in “better than Rapid Ride”. SDOT views these not as transit corridors, but as multimodal corridors (something that wasn’t necessarily clear to voters last fall). But overlaid promises (Move Seattle, the Bike Master Plan, etc) require all of us to recognize that there will be both wins and losses for bike and transit advocates on these corridors.

If the recent Eastlake/Roosevelt outreach round was any indication, there is the potential for conflicts between bike/transit advocacy interests, especially on the narrower corridors. If you believe those nascent divisions are unnecessary and want to find ways to rally around shared goals (like reducing on-street parking, or resisting excessive general traffic lanes), come out this Saturday from 1-3pm for a “Multimodal Meetup” at the Impact HUB (2nd/Washington in Pioneer Square).

From the Facebook event:

How can Seattle’s transit, walking, and biking advocates work together to create a safe and reliable transportation system?

This meetup is a first step towards cooperative advocacy.

We’ll be using the Move Seattle Levy as lens. The levy promised to implement 7 Rapid Ride Plus corridors by 2024. The levy also promises to implement walking and biking safety projects along some of these corridors and along other priority transit corridors (such as Pike/Pine). We’ll be looking at these corridors and discussing potential ways to work towards bold solutions that prioritize people who walk, bike, and take transit.

Co-sponsored by the Seattle Transit Blog, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Cascade Bicycle Club, Transportation Choices Coalition, and Feet First (contact if your organization would like to be involved).

16 Replies to “Bike + Transit Meetup Saturday Afternoon”

  1. Why are they even pretending? The name of this service is clearly doing more harm than good, by suggesting that its purpose has something to do with improving the speed of public transit. They should rename the service “RubyRide”, making it clear that they are offering a transit service where the bus is painted red, instead of some other color; that’s a promise they can actually deliver on. Articulating conservative, limited goals and successfully achieving them is a strategy which has been working well for Sound Transit of late, so KC Metro might do well by mimicking it.

  2. I’m going to be out of town this weekend, or I might be going.

    On the other hand, I might not have bothered even if I was in town. SDOT has published magnificent plans for some of the Move Seattle corridors… but we’ve heard similar promises before, and every single time, they’ve been beaten down to something little better than the same old bus stuck in traffic. The two RR+ lines we’ve seen get through the process so far are already downgraded – to the same old bus on Eastlake, and a unique flaky gadgetbahn on Madison that’ll still be stuck in traffic for half its route – and I see no signs that the others will be any different.

    So, why even show up? SDOT is still better than ST, but that’s very faint praise. It still hasn’t shown that it deserves my time or vote.

    1. Clarification: This is a meeting hosted by advocates, not the City of Seattle (although we hope a member of SDOT will attend).

  3. Appreciate the honesty of calling a Rapid Ride+ discussion a Bike + Transit one as that is obviously how SDOT sees these corridors.

  4. The best “Move” I made was voting “No” on “Move Seattle”. SDOT is a sham, and if you don’t know the history of wastefulness the city of Seattle has consistently managed to perfect with taxpayer dollars, you don’t know much about Seattle politics.

    1. You should organize to elect better pro-transit city council members to make sure any transit funds are spent much, much better.

  5. I would attend but am heading to Sweden and Denmark for a few weeks, hopefully I will see transit and bikes happily co-existing there.

    Really we need to work together to remove on street parking to make our streets work for everyone.

  6. I don’t get why there is “conflict” between bikes and busses here. If we were comfortable removing on-street parking there’s plenty of room for a fully protected cycle track on Fairview and dedicated bus lanes on Eastlake. There is a small one-block gap on Fairview that’s private property — I’m sure the city could come up with some sort of agreement to allow a bike trail to connect the two parts of Fairview. Worst case they could eminent domain a strip of land there, but hopefully that wouldn’t be needed.

    So really what this is about is it’s us vs parking right?

    1. I would also like to point you to the mess the Washington State Convention Center is making for both transit users and cyclists in downtown. The WSCC’s plan to close Convention Place Station three years before light rail reaches Northgate has sent SDOT scrambling to find space on surface streets for buses getting kicked out of the tunnel. This has forced the delays in the Bike Master Plan implementation in downtown, and has led to SDOT having to choose between buses or bikes downtown rather than implementing the plans to improve both networks that were set out in Move Seattle.

      The WSCC expansion does not need to happen. Attendance is lower than in the 1990’s when the facility was half of its current size, and one quarter of the planned size. Seattle needs safe streets and efficient transit, not a bloated convention center that sits empty most of the time on prime downtown property.

      1. ??? WSCC owns the Convention Place Station??? Never really thought about who owns each station (and therefore has the call on what happens). I assumed it was Metro or Sound Transit’s. ???

      2. The Convention Center is buying it from the county. Blaming it for the delay in the downtown bicycle plan is a bit much though. At most it’s only a small part.

        As for the expansion not needing to happen, WSCC says it’s turning away a lot of conventions because it’s booked all year and doesn’t have space for the largest conventions, and that a year’s worth of conventions will pay for the expansion and then it’s like free tax income after that. I don’t know convention accounting so I can’t say how accurate that is. But if a lot of people are moving to Seattle, then a lot of people probably want to have conventions here.

      3. Conventions bring people who shop providing sales tax revenue that pays for all the bike lanes since cyclists don’t have to pay a registration fee, so we do need an expanded convention center to stay competitive with other cities. Or we lose out and thus end up with lower sales tax revenue to fund projects.

  7. “It has become clearer of late that the “Plus” meant “Rapid Ride Plus Other Things”, not plus as in “better than Rapid Ride”. SDOT views these not as transit corridors, but as multimodal corridors (something that wasn’t necessarily clear to voters last fall). ”

    Good observation, and although I am a transit supporter and voted yes, this is not the stuff that trust is built on.

    1. Just because you are a transit supporter doesn’t mean this city’s political elite are, regardless if they package something together for you to vote on. I’m a transit supporter but I still voted “No” because I also recognize the backhanded way the city dangled an incomplete, nebulous, and unaccountable levy package that leaves them with an incredible amount of flexibility in how the money gets spent.

      Another blank check to SDOT? What’s worse are the voters that claim they are “educated” and “smart” and “knowledgeable” that fall for this? Incredibly ironic considering the percentage of Seattle voters who have a bachelor’s degree, or more. Monkey see, monkey do…..

      The crux of the problem are voters giving the city and SDOT taxpayer funds with no accountability. Please stop voting “Yes” for poorly constructed levies with no accountability and start putting your money where your mouth (or blogging) is.

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