No more "road diets"

Quit spending precious SDOT funds eliminating road capacity on arterials for "road diets" and bike lanes. Not to mention all the money saved by eliminating all the studies and public meetings associated with these "road diets." Our limited resources should go towards maintaining our crumbling roads, not reducing capacity in a growing city!


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  1. Comment
    Community Member

    I *really* don't understand the road diets. I understand the concept that a radical change in expectations in streets would be needed to encourage large-scale cycling, but why encourage cyclists to compete for space with cars when alternate routes for cyclists are available, safer, and just as fast if not faster?

    For example, in Wedgwood, 39th Ave NE is heavily used by cyclists, while 40th Ave NE is the arterial for cars. I don't think the residents of 39th Ave NE mind the bike traffic. The cars don't see the cyclists so maybe they don't think to cycle themselves, but so what - everyone's safer!

  2. Comment
    Community Member

    Keep the road diets! Safety should be the #1 concern and, as we all know about the 125th project, reducing cars from about 45 mph to around 30-35 will save lives. I know people like to complain about the money spent on paint and studies, but if we are really serious about saving money on transportation costs we could CUT DOWN the road construction. If you don't like the traffic, don't drive!

  3. Comment
    Community Member

    When the price effects of peak oil start hitting hard again in a few years traffic will begin to decrease. Then we can start doing more road diets with less political controversy. However now is the time to get ready for this. In fact, let's dream bigger: car-free zones.

  4. Comment
    Community Member

    I am so tired if hearing "if I don't like traffic, don't drive." I always used to bus everywhere until I had a baby, and frankly, it's tough to coordinate bus times with nap schedules, childcare, doctor appointments, etc., not to mention dealing with bags, strollers, crying baby. If the mayor thinks Seattle doesn't need to include families, and only wants to make space for folks who earn very high salaries so they can afford parking when they eat and shop downtown, then he's making the right decisions. Otherwise, I think he and the city council need to get realistic about transportation needs for diverse residents.

  5. Comment
    Mark Early

    For most people (though fortunately not all) cars are necessary, not EVIL. Personal transportation is essential for modern life today, especially in two income families, however they should be as non-polluting as possible. My wife and I will be taking delivery of an all-electric Nissan Leaf in January to do our part to reduce carbon emissions. We also ride the bus to special events at the Seattle Center whenever possible and already own an electric bike. We are progressive Dems who attend our 36th District Dems monthly meetings ..yada..yada.

    Road Diets are intended to force citizens to use transit which I contend is MORE carbon expensive per rider compared to fuel efficient cars when you calculate the total miles buses travel during times with few or no passengers. Lookup the miles traveled per passenger statistics for Sound Transit's express buses. They are terrible! Life is complicated and getting more so, which is one of many reasons transit use has been declining as a percentage of trips traveled every year in the US during the last decade. I would gladly pay higher taxes for a more efficient Metro bus system including small all electric local neighborhood circulator vans.

    Road diets are pure politics. In my one party town Democratic candidates need to differentiate themselves from other Dems in a race. To do this they appeal to the minority Cars-are-evil voting block, which Stewart Elway believes is roughly 6% of Dem voters in a primary race. Use the right code words during your campaign and this religious voting block will provide you with the necessary margin of victory. The bicyclists do not donate much cash but they do vote in a herd for their favorite issue; Cars-are-evil. Conservatives vote in several issue blocks, but liberals have far fewer, with Cars-Are-Evil being the most prominent. Ask local political consultants as I have, this is the current reality in Democratic Party dominated campaigns.

    Follow the money. Developers like Paul Allen's Vulcan and big construction contracting/engineering firms (Parsons/Brinkhoff, CH2-mHill, TY-Lin ..etc) crave density, up-zoning and any government policies that force families out of the inexpensive suburbs and back into the expensive central city. This drives up demand for highrise condos and justifies big wildly expensive infrastructure projects like light-rail and streetcars (Parson/Brinkhoff's specialty). They fund City Council races and pour money into Cars-are-Evil astro turf organizations such as the local Transportation Choices Coalition which has a full time paid staff of 8+, funded by Vulcan, the contractors, Metro and Sound Transit.

    Last point. In some ways we voters are also to blame. We demand more services from city governments, but selfishly refuse to pay higher tax rates to pay for them. So politicians are forced to leave our tax rates the same but compensate by increasing the value of the tax base (property, buildings and commercial activity) to bring in more revenue. This is why upzoning by way of Transit Oriented Development is critical for them. We voters what a "free lunch", which admittedly gives the "higher density mavens" an opening to push big, profitable, development projects. Global warming, a genuine motivation for activists is slyly manipulated by developers to transfer enormous sums of public money onto their corporate balance sheets. "We have met the enemy and they are us".

  6. Comment
    Community Member

    Suggest defer new bike lanes and road diets for at least two years to save money during the budget shortfall.

    As an elderly person, riding a bike is not an option. We are also a long way from a bus stop, so we must use a car.

  7. Comment
    Community Member

    Road diets improve traffic flow for CARS by adding turn lanes and giving bicycles their own turn lanes. They are dirt cheap (just the cost of paint) and SMART improvements for everyone.

    I don't understand why some car drivers think sitting behind cars waiting to turn left and bicyclists in their lanes is a good idea. Road diets benefit everyone (cars, transit, bicyclists, and pedestrians) and increase safety for all.

  8. Comment
    Community Member

    Why can't we turn more residential streets into car free zones during commuting hours to allow bikes safe access into downtown and keep our arterials free for cars?

  9. Comment
    Community Member

    Bike lanes on arterials are a publicity stunt to appease the bike lobby. Cars have to avoid cyclists, many of whom are either clueless or active-aggressives, whether or not there's a bike lane. Funnel bicycles onto residential streets, license bicycles, and develop and enforce helmet and light regulations. in general, bicycles needed to be treated like cars if they use the same space.

    Until small vans in residential areas are used as feeders into bus stops with shelters people will not get out of their cars. Running more buses on major arterials abandons children, people with disabilities and the carless.

  10. Comment
    Community Member

    Elliott Ave is a major problem since 2 lanes were taken as bus/bike lanes a year ago. This street is the only access for the Magnolia neighborhood. I often see buses needing to merge into the perpetually clogged car lanes because a biker is in the bus lane. Why do bikers need this arterial when the most beautiful bike lanes in the city are 100 ft away on the Myrtle Edwards bike path?

    I work 10 miles away in Bellevue, but the bus options require 2 transfers and 2.5 hours of travel, so I drive. I love Seattle, but am growing impatient with the irresponsible decisions made by our city government.

  11. Comment
    Community Member

    Road diets were never intended for heavily used arterials - the USDOT studies discuss this in every introduction. Local politicans, the bike lobby, and SDOT may mess around with the numbers and try to tell you otherwise, but once you get about about 16,000 ADTs (average daily traffic), road diets cause congestion and force traffic onto side roads.

    They may be great for light to moderately used roads with crash problems, but they are a terrible choice for arterials.

  12. Comment
    Community Member

    You should make an effort to understand things before opposing them. Road diets are crucial for pedestrian safety and livability in our fair city.

  13. Comment
    Community Member

    The current "road diet" is both counter-productive to safe travel and causes more congestion for mass transit. Those who think that those who oppose the current "road diet" philosophy are simply uninformed or ignorant are grossly simplistic thinkers. Putting 10' wide buses into 11' wide lanes is not improving safety, it only provokes more accidents. Placing bike lanes directly into the lethal "door zone" ignores this danger and promotes it as "improving safety." Common sense must prevail if we are to share the roads. Quick, cosmetic fixes are simply that "cosmetic."