Save 35th AVE NE from Urban Blight - Updated
As part of the its WAR ON CARS, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is planning to devastate Northeast Seattle by installing 5-foot-wide bicycle lanes on 35th Ave NE.
While we recognize that (1) bike lanes on 35th Ave NE are included in the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan approved by the elected City Council in April 2014; (2) funding for bike lanes on 35th Ave NE is explicitly included in the Move Seattle Levy approved by voters in November 2015; (3) our elected council member, Rob Johnson, successfully ran on a platform that emphasized bike lanes and other steps to improve transportation options and street safety in our district; and (4) the last three elected mayors of Seattle have all advocated for the Bicycle Master Plan; we nevertheless, know that SDOT's plan for 35th Ave NE is against the will of the people for the simple reasons that we disagree with the plan and are willing to shout down those who have different opinions.
Without too much recourse to facts or logical arguments, we assert that bike lanes on 35th Ave NE will lead to:
- Gridlock much of the day with traffic speeds slowed to 10 m.p.h. or less,
- Blocking of the street for hours at a time by buses, garbage trucks, and delivery vehicles,
- Spillover of most arterial traffic onto neighboring residential streets where it will travel at breakneck speeds,
- Near universal road rage,
- Dangerously under-caffeinated drivers who will no longer be easily able to park outside Starbucks,
- Doubling of single occupancy vehicles travel times to destinations such as West Seattle and Issaquah,
- A huge increase in Northeast Seattle's carbon footprint as the meagre savings for a handful of cyclists in the bike lanes pales in comparison to increased emissions from idling traffic,
- Radicalization of the congregations of University Unitarian Church, Beth Shalom, and Messiah Lutheran Church, caused by upset at the loss of street parking,
- A surge in illiteracy as access to the Northeast Seattle library branch becomes almost impossible,
- Ballooning 911 response times as the police, firefighters and paramedics are forced onto bicycles,
- Numerous pedestrian casualties as residents parking on the east side of the street dare to cross the street seeking access to businesses and the Northeast Seattle library branch on the west side,
- Closure of most businesses along the arterial because of the lack of parking, blocking by bike lanes, and abandonment of the neighborhood, and
- Inevitable urban blight, despair, and poverty throughout Northeast Seattle.
We further assert the following to be self evident:
- There is no way to prioritize limited convenient parking for the disabled and elderly who really need it, while everyone else walks a block or two, so the City must always strive to maintain ample free, convenient parking for everyone, everywhere, at all times.
- The worsening traffic in Seattle and its environs has nothing to do with the increasing number of vehicles on the roads and is solely due to road diets and bicycle lanes (even on the freeways).
- All retrospective studies which show bicycle lanes can improve safety and livability with minimal impacts on vehicle travel times and positive impacts on many businesses are irrelevant because they were not conducted on 35th Ave NE.
- The 38/39th Ave NE neighborhood greenway already provides a convenient route for cyclists to travel to the Burke Gilman trail which is the only place they should be heading in Northeast Seattle.
- We never see cyclists on 35th Ave NE and elsewhere in Seattle.
- Every day we see reckless cyclists repeatedly breaking traffic laws on 35th Ave NE and elsewhere in Seattle.
- It is impractical to ride a bicycle in Seattle because it rains continuously for all but 6 weeks of the year.
- The hills make cycling in Seattle impossible for all but Olympic caliber athletes, and this is particularly so along 35th Ave NE in the Wedgwood business district where grades reach 0.5%.
- Our roads are always going to be way too dangerous for cyclists, especially given the way we drive.
- Cyclists in Seattle should have no rights because they do not pay a bicycle registration fee.
- Many of us ourselves are keen cyclists.
- Cyclists in Seattle form a powerful, sinister, and undemocratic "mafia" that pulls the strings of city government.
Therefore, we ask the city to Stop, Listen to Us but Nobody Else, and Allow Us to Redesign 35th Ave NE to exclusively support single occupancy vehicles and free parking.
Please help us Make Northeast Seattle Great Again.