Magnolia Community Club, Queen Anne Community Council, North Seattle Industrial Association, Democrats and Republicans say "No!" County Council member Larry Phillips speaks against it, and Port of Seattle Commission President Bill Bryant says it is a move "in exactly the wrong direction." Rep. Reuven Carlyle is a long-time opponent.
"We don't care," seems to be the response from Mayor McGinn and his bicycle mafia with the announcement that West Nickerson's capacity will be cut. It is becoming a two-lane street or, as the current mayor sees it, two bike lanes, allowing some use by vehicles. Its bike lanes will parallel an existing, dedicated bike path just a half block north running along the Ship Canal.
Last week the current mayor announced his transportation policy of deliberate gridlock, or Walk, Bike, Ride as named by his fellow ideologues at the newly formed "Streets for All." Translation: Streets Without You and Your Car.
He prescribes a "road diet" intended to force you out of your vehicle. Nickerson is the first casualty of the current mayor's plan but not the last. It is step one in bringing gridlock to Seattle and a continuation of his battle against private transportation.
Washington and Seattle departments of transportation have choreographed a complex schedule of construction projects to replace the Viaduct. The success, measured by the ability of people and freight to move to and through downtown, depends on an interlocking series of city streets, arterials and the state highway. Should major elements, such as Nickerson, 15th, Mercer, or the new Alaskan Way become bottlenecks, more traffic is forced onto other routes, bringing them down in a cascading effect. Access to state Route 99, Interstate 5, and routes through downtown will be nearly impossible during peak times.
Magnolia, Queen Anne and the North Seattle Industrial Association formed a coalition and its initial focus is on the 15th Avenue Corridor and the arterials serving it. In a recent letter to city hall, the coalition emphasized that the corridor serves residential, commercial, and maritime uses. "Up to one hundred thousand residents depend on the Corridor, as does billions of dollars worth of business activity each year."
Port Commission President Bill Bryant says that freight movement in and out of the waterfront is critical to the Port's future. "I'm very concerned about the mayor's plans. We are in a very competitive environment and this doesn't help." The mayor's office has been unresponsive to inquiries from the Port Commission President.
Rep. Carlyle's voice was important in keeping Nickerson fully functional when the previous mayor tried to strangle it. Now he gets the same non-response as the Port but pursues the issue with SDOT Director, Peter Hahn. Rep. Carlyle says, "Nickerson and Mercer are among the streets designated as main access routes to SR 99. We have to maintain the capacity of the key arterials."
The City Council, State, Port, and County have signed off on the Viaduct Replacement Program and staging areas exist near the sports stadiums. The current mayor opposed it as a candidate but eventually accepted the City Council's decision. That was last October when he trailed in the polls. Now he is back to his original, and most likely, real position: You must be forced onto public transportation. The freedom of movement allowed by private vehicles cannot be tolerated.
The current mayor seems to believe that his mandate is to force his lifestyle on you - for your own good of course. He says the neighborhoods, the other elected officials, and you are wrong. You may want to let him know what you think of his mandate.[[In-content Ad]]