Notes from today’s Council meetings

Here’s what happened in Council Chambers today.

As expected, this afternoon the Council passed an ordinance authorizing SDOT to expand its current bike-share program. It doubles the maximum number of bicycles to 20,000. Two amendments were adopted before it was passed into law:

  • one from Council member Herbold incents bike-share provider companies to provide adaptive vehicles and/or devices for people with disabilities, and requires a recommendation from SDOT back to the Council on permitting motorized bike-share vehicles including scooters.
  • one from Council member O’Brien placed a limit on SDOT’s spending on the program until it delivers to the Council a written parking enforcement strategy that ensures that bike-share bicycles don’t block sidewalks and other locations in ways that cause problems for people with vision impairments or low-mobility issues.

The Council also passed a resolution establishing a timetable for implementing components of the center city bike-lane network over the next 18 months. Amendments adopted to the resolution strengthened the requirements for quarterly reporting back to the Council (since SDOT has repeatedly missed milestones and delayed projects), included a document with specific guidance on how to build infrastructure for “all ages and abilities” and expanded the target audiences to explicitly address not only diversity in age and ability, but also language, ethnicity, gender, and race.

The Council also passed a resolution making it easier for Seattle City Light to dispose of its surplus properties in order to advance affordable housing projects. Council member Mosqueda noted this morning that this is the first of two bills addressing the issue.

Council President Bruce Harrell had originally planned to introduce a new ordinance to update the Council’s processes for approving the purchase of surveillance technologies, but he pulled it from this week’s Introduction and Referral Calendar at the last minute, saying that there were still some issues that needed to be worked on. The withdrawn bill mostly tweaked the reporting requirements and the prioritization order forĀ  submitting technologies for approval.

Council member Johnson noted this morning that at his Planning, Land Use and Zoning committee meeting on Wednesday they would take up:

  • a quasi-judicial review of a proposed rezone on Greenwood Avenue;
  • discussion of a draft tree-protection ordinance;
  • further discussion of the appeal of UW’s Major Institution Master Plan update, after Tuesday morning’s hearing;
  • design guidelines for South Lake Union (though this may get pushed out to a September committee meeting).

Council member O’Brien’s next Sustainability and Transportation committee meeting on August 7th they will consider a resolution regarding the Move Seattle Levy assessment.



  1. Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time understanding why SDOT wants to double the number of share bikes when the existing bikes reached only 50% of their target usage at best and also why they would spend fee revenue painting suggested parking spot rectangles on sidewalks.

    1. Because saturation is important. The more likely it is that you will find a bike when you want one, the more likely it is that you will become a regular user of the system. They are still very sparse outside the city center and the U district. Especially in neighborhoods with underserved communities.

  2. Under the draft tree ordinance, my cedar hedge (6″ diameter) would be considered significant trees.

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