In celebration of Bike Everywhere Day, District 3 city council candidate Logan Bowers spent the morning passing out homemade cookies and little cups of water to passersby from his perch under a festival tent between 10th and 11th Ave. He'll be out there until 6 p.m. today, if you want to say hi.
As bikers stopped for refreshments, he talked with them about his plans for fixing the city's patchy biking infrastructure and the housing crisis. I stopped by to try one of his cookies and to talk about all that stuff, too, largely in response to one of the more controversial moments from Wednesday night's MLK Labor council candidate forum. Labor asked the candidates whether they preferred cake or pie. In my Slog post about the event, I said the answer to the question was actually "cookies." Bowers then challenged me on Twitter to try one of his cookies, and so here we are.
Bowers had given away almost all the cookies by the time I arrived this morning, but he kindly saved me one.
Here's my review: Bowers bakes a milk chocolate chip cookie sprinkled with finishing salt. The cookie is 2.25 inches in diameter and has a uniform look, which makes me think he's using a scoop. I prefer dark chocolate in my chocolate chip cookies, but his chips are high quality, and the milk chocolate brings out the butteriness of the confection. The cookie is chewy but sturdy, which makes sense considering his mostly 1:1 brown sugar/white sugar ratio. (He says he uses "165 grams of brown sugar and 145 grams of white sugar.") Given the chance, I would've eaten two.
As I stood there trying not to eat the cookie, I asked him about biking and housing. Mayor Durkan recently pissed off the entire biking community by axing the 35th Ave bike lane and "abandoning" the city's Bicycle Master Plan. In a letter to the mayor last week, the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board relayed their "extreme disappointment" in the new implementation plan the city drew up and offered a list of projects they want the city to prioritize.
Bowers says he "supports the conclusions" and suggestions outlined in SBAB's letter. He thinks they're "well-balancing both the usefulness of bike infrastructure and equity."
"Seattle and Mayor Durkan are underdelivering on what was originally promised in the bike plan. Literally, the only way we're going to move people as the city grows is by having more folks use modes like bicycling and transit," Bowers added.
At the last few candidate forums, Bowers has claimed Seattle could add the 35,000 units of housing he thinks we need to solve the housing crisis by allowing one triplex on every block that's currently zoned for single-family houses.
Bowers clarified the claim, saying he brings it up "mostly to exemplify how little change is required to build 35,000 housing units." The idea addresses a concern he hears from D3 residents while canvassing. They fear "a giant apartment building next door to them," but they're not too worried about duplexes, triplexes, or quadplexes, Bowers says.
He also thinks some people are more upset about the look of the new developments rather than the number of people who are allowed to live in them. Bowers says he met a guy while canvassing who was "really upset about the development on his block," despite the fact that he lived in a single-family neighborhood, and the only developments on his block were giant ultra-modern homes. "So it wasn't about adding to the housing supply, it was about replacing old homes with something new he didn't like," Bowers said.
To balance the "visual appeal of the neighborhood but also still provide the housing," Bowers says he wants to "be more prescriptive about how the structure looks and less prescriptive about who gets to live there."