The SR 520 bridge replacement project provides a golden opportunity to reconnect our neighborhoods and give everyone the freedom to easily and safely bike and walk to where they need to go.
But right now, plans for the Seattle side of the SR 520 corridor do not include critical biking and walking connections.
We’re poised to repeat the mistakes of the past, further dividing our communities and making it more dangerous for people to walk and bike in their neighborhood.
Fortunately, the community is standing up and demanding a better future. Over the past two months the community has shown “overwhelming support” for making it safe, comfortable and convenient for everyone to bike and walk in and through the neighborhood.
Over the next month the Seattle City Council will provide direction to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) on how to proceed with the project. The Council’s direction will determine whether we repeat the mistakes of the past, or plan for a better future. And the direction our representatives take is up to us.
If we’re going to spend billions of dollars on a bridge that will last for generations, we have a responsibility to make sure we get it right. That’s why last year the Seattle City Council asked WSDOT to facilitate the Seattle Community Design Process and hear directly from the community how to improve the project.
In response to the draft design preferences for the Seattle side of the SR 520 corridor, the community spoke loud and clear and showed:
- Overwhelming support for a 14-foot shared-use path along Portage Bay Bridge.
- Overwhelming support for protected bikeways with direct, convenient and safe access to main intersections, neighborhoods and existing trails throughout the project area.
- General concern about bicycle and pedestrian connectivity and safety in and around the Montlake lid area and on Montlake Boulevard.
But like any project, there are a few vocal opponents to the investments that would provide everyone with the freedom to easily and safely bike and walk to where they need to go. We can’t let the narrow interests of a few stand in the way of investments that would benefit so many. That’s just not how democracy works.
Join thousands of your friends and neighbors and tell the City Council to make critical biking and walking connections with the SR 520 project.