We did it! On Monday afternoon, Seattle City Council passed the SR 520 resolution, ensuring safe and convenient connections between neighborhoods for everyone.
Just a few months ago, plans for Seattle side of the SR 520 bridge replacement project did not include critical biking and walking connections. We were poised to repeat the mistakes of the past, further dividing our communities and making our city less safe for kids and less livable for working families.
Powerful corporations were pushing for a roads-only approach to the project with little concern for making our streets safer for everybody. Politicians were talking about the project making our streets safer but not taking the concrete actions to create what families need.
Fortunately, caring neighbors in Montlake, Madison Park, Roanoke, Portage Bay, Laurelhurst and Capitol Hill came together as a community and spoke up for a better future. They demanded the SR 520 replacement project reconnect our neighborhoods and make it safe, comfortable and convenient for everyone, from an 8-year-old child to his 80-year-old grandmother, to bike and walk in their neighborhood.
Everyone agreed: if we’re going to spend billions of dollars on a new 520 bridge, one that will stand long past our lifetimes, we have a responsibility to get it right.
When the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) asked the community for input on the project, over one thousand neighbors spoke up in support of investing in biking and walking connections to make their neighborhood streets safe for our children and continuing the regional shared-use trail across the new Portage Bay Bridge.
Cascade Bicycle Club worked hand in hand with these caring neighbors and our friends at Seattle Neighborhood Greenways to make sure our representatives heard this message loud and clear and knew how to fix the project.
We helped people like you write over 1500 letters to the Seattle City Council asking them to tell WSDOT to get SR 520 right. We delivered a packet of community letters showing overwhelming community support for improved biking and walking connections and technical guidance on how WSDOT could make these connections happen. And we worked with our City representatives and their staff on the language of a Resolution to make all of this a reality.
Now, we have a plan for a better future.
Our representatives heard our voices loud and clear and this afternoon the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a Resolution that will help ensure we get SR 520 right.
The Resolution calls on WSDOT to redesign the biking and walking connections to and through Montlake and the west end to make them work for kids and families, develop options for including a shared-use trail across the new Portage Bay Bridge, collaborate with city agencies and the community to improve the project design before it is finalized and create an interim plan ensuring biking and walking connections will work during the years of bridge construction.
Now, as WSDOT works to secure funding and complete the Seattle side of the SR 520 project, we’ve laid the foundation for the project to make it safer for kids and families to bike and walk on their neighborhood streets.
All because people worked together to make their neighborhood better.