Over at Publicola, Erica Barnett has refuted, point by point, Nicole Brodeur’s Seattle Times piece opposing the NE 125th Street safety project. Tom Fucoloro at the Seattle Bike Blog also takes issue with Brodeur’s arguements.
Rather than rehashing the arguments for this important safety project as we have here and here, I’m going to get out some maps and a calendar, something Ms. Brodeur or the Times editorial staff should have done.
She writes: “The bike lane on 130th seems to be working just fine — is a five-block detour too much to ask?”
I’m scratching my head, because she must be referring to the new buffered bike lanes that:
1) stretch only a few blocks, and
2) are several miles away.
Here’s an interactive map we put together containing upcoming projects. The casual observer will have no difficulty seeing that 130th is an ill-conceived suggestion. (You might also notice that many of the projects are starting to create much-needed connectivity, though we have a ways to go.)
Some bicyclists use NE 130th Street for part of its length as an alternate route to 125th, but the street is discontinuous as so many Seattle streets are. That is to say it’s not especially useful when you want to get somewhere.
Furthermore, one can only cross I-5 westbound using the arterial that turns from 125th into Roosevelt Way unless one rides south all the way to Northgate or north to the city line.
As for the calendar, I noted Ms. Brodeur is laying this project on Mayor McGinn while scoring some cheap shots in the process. In fact, the 125th Street safety improvement project was identified for rechannelization prior to Mayor McGinn’s taking office. It was included in the Bicycle Master Plan during the Nickels administration in June 2007. Here’s yet another handy map.
I have an idea. Let’s take this discussion away from teh Interwebs. We extend a warm invitation to Ms. Brodeur to come north and visit 125th. Let’s ride the bus, walk through the project together and discuss roadway design and traffic safety. No gimmick here. The invitation is wide open. Please take us — and the other neighbors you’ve heard from — up on the offer.