It’s so easy to take potshots at someone who is against a bike lane and Ms. Minard has done a wonderful job in making the concerns of people who live along Roosevelt Way look foolish. Bravo! By doing so, however, she has missed an opportunity to elevate the discussion of what is being done to Seattle neighborhoods.
For the record, the residents of Roosevelt Way are not against bike lanes. Not even this particular bike lane. What they’re concerned about is what the addition of a bike lane will mean to this particular stretch of roadway.
What Ms. Minard didn’t tell you in this article is that SDOT’s own findings showed that the heaviest traffic along this stretch of roadway is southbound in the mornings. Yet, their plan – in addition to adding a bike lane – takes away a southbound lane in the mornings, something the three Metro lines that this stretch of road supports depend on to make their established scheduled stops. What this will mean is backed-up traffic, slower commutes, and increased pollution, something we should all agree is not in the best interests of the city. (Also, one point of correction, the side of the street that is losing its parking and a lane of traffic is the same side of the street, not opposite sides of the street, as the article states.)
What Ms. Minard also didn’t tell you is that when the photographer who came to shoot our neighborhood saw this stretch of road, she exclaimed, “This is too narrow for a bike lane!” and when she saw the busses that now have to be within inches of the curb, she proclaimed it “scary.” Ms. Minard chose not to visit our neighborhood before writing her story.
What she also didn’t tell you is that there already exist beautiful bike lanes just five blocks away on Fifth Avenue. With the Sharrow lanes on 75th, bikers have a clear, uninterrupted shot to travel north. What she didn’t tell you is that this proposal does nothing to help bikers traveling south, which is the vast majority of bike traffic on this stretch of road.
What she also didn’t mention is that recent studies have shown that bike lanes do very little to increase biker safety http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Study…
, a fact the Cascade Bicycle Club concedes. Safety is what SDOT claims is their reason for this addition.
We put Ms. Minard in touch with numerous stories from many residents, all of which she chose to ignore. It is disappointing Ms. Minard chose to publish SDOT’s talking points verbatim without telling the other side of the story.
Again, we do not oppose bike lanes. What we oppose is pandering to the few (and it is questionable whether these changes benefit anyone at all) at the expense of the many, which includes the hundreds of pedestrians who walk this stretch of road every day.