On Wednesday, Feb. 13, Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle Department of Transportation released the Transportation Action Agenda Progress Report, highlighting accomplishments from the past year and new initiatives for 2013.
“We’re working hard to build a great transportation network that meets the needs of a growing, thriving city,” said McGinn in a statement. “We’re filling potholes, planning new rail lines, and providing safer facilities for everyone using our roads.”
Progress has been made in what SDOT considers “the basics” – maintenance projects like filling potholes, (re)paving roads and replacing street name signs – as well as making roads more accessible for everyone.
Last year SDOT began construction on the Linden Avenue and 65th Street cycle tracks, installed 15 new lane-miles of bike lanes and/or sharrows, improved 47 pedestrian crossings, built 12 new blocks of sidewalk, and more.
The action agenda report promises more improvements to come in 2013, including speeding up key transit projects, improving neighborhood-to-neighborhood connections and better pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.
“Bicycling is a great way to get around our city and should be an option for everyone,” the report states, mentioning that construction on the Broadway cycle track will begin soon and neighborhood greenways are being developed in Ballard, Beacon Hill, and Delridge.
The report also mentions that SDOT is planning more cycle tracks and neighborhood greenways across Seattle. As a part of the Bicycle Master Plan update, SDOT will recommend cycle tracks on a network of city streets, including streets in downtown.
“It’s exciting to see the action agenda highlighting the vision of bicycling being an option for everyone, from an eight-year-old to his 80-year-old grandmother, to safely get around Seattle,” said Craig Benjamin, Cascade’s Policy and Government Affairs Manager. “We look forward to working with the Mayor and City Council to fund the network of protected bike lanes and neighborhood greenways that would make this vision a reality.”
McGinn is also working to speed up the time frame for two key transit planning projects identified in the Transit Master Plan. The first is an analysis of potential Ship Canal crossings for rail, bicycle and pedestrian use from Ballard to neighborhoods south of the Canal. The second project is planning for the Eastlake high capacity transit corridor connecting downtown to the University District.
This is good news for bicyclists as high capacity transit enables people on bikes to extend their trips by making them multimodal. More importantly, in planning these corridors, the city will also have the opportunity to plan for world-class bikeways to complement the transit lines in these corridors. When designed correctly, high-capacity transit and bicycling are complementary pieces of our overall transportation network and should work hand in hand to provide people with the freedom to safely and conveniently get around Seattle.
For more information, the full Progress Report and Action Agenda are available online.