“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality”. John Lennon
West Seattle Bike Connections represented West Seattle at Cascade Bicycle Club’s Connect Seattle Summit yesterday. Cascade is helping set up Connect Seattle groups around the city to develop campaigns for critical bicycle transportation improvements. We are already set up, so Brock Howell at Cascade invited us to be the group for the peninsula.
Cascade’s resources will help with a major push for one project in each area of the city. For West Seattle we selected the 5-way intersection near the West Seattle Bridge at Chelan, Delridge, Spokane and West Marginal Way SW.
The 5-way intersection along the Alki Trail is unsafe, confusing and time-consuming for all users including people on bikes, on foot, in cars and in the many trucks using Port facilities. It is a huge barrier to many who would like to ride this route to commute to SODO and downtown, or to connect between the Alki Trail and West Duwamish Trail and soon-to-be built Delridge/Highland Park Greenway.
The Seattle Bicycle Master Plan, with our input, identifies this as a “catalyst project”: When accomplished, it will dramatically increase the number of people of all ages and abilities using bikes here. Concepts were identified in an SDOT workshop last February, and vetted during the year, as announced in January.
If you have experienced the traffic jams on Spokane Street lately, you know how important this corridor is for freight movement and jobs in West Seattle and regionally. Getting more people out of cars and onto bikes helps truck traffic, too.
Come to our Feb 3 meeting to get involved! Tuesday, 6:30 pm, HomeStreet Bank, 41st SW & SW Alaska. Ten of us started strategizing at the summit. We’ll continue the work on strategies for raising awareness and funding.
SDOT has short-term improvements planned and funded for 2015. We want to push for the long-term “flyover” concept that adds a bike lane attached to the flyover ramp that goes from the Spokane Street Bridge approach to Terminal 5. The bike lane would go from the rise under the WS Bridge where the trails connect, crossing Spokane at the existing light, follow beside the Terminal 5 truck entry ramp and peel off before the RR tracks to land on the Alki Trail near the Chelan Café. No additional climbing required, and it goes over the whole 5-way intersection.
Similar to our alliance with Seattle Neighborhood Greenways for the Delridge/Highland Park Greenway and the 35th Avenue SW Safety Corridor Project, this alliance with Cascade Bicycle Club will give us the ability to reach all the decision makers who will need to approve and fund this project. Yesterday, SDOT Chief Traffic Engineer Dongho Chang and City Council Members Tom Rasmussen, Sally Clark and Mike O’Brien joined us for the summit. We really appreciate their investment time and attention to champion these projects. It shows what this coalition can accomplish together, making dreams reality.