A lot more happened this week that I didn’t get around to writing about. And on Monday the Mayor will release her proposed 2019-2020 budget. So before everything else fades into obscurity, here’s some quick takes on all the other stuff.
In May, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt the City of Seattle a setback in its defense of its ordinance granting Uber and Lyft drivers the right to collective bargaining. In June, the city petitioned the appeals court for an en banc rehearing of the case in front of the entire court.
Last Friday the court denied that petition.
This morning, the Select Committee on Civic Arenas made some minor technical amendments to the agreement with Oak View Group for the renovation, lease and operation of Key Arena, then passed it out of committee. Barring unforeseen circumstances, it will be approved by the full Council on September 24th.
This afternoon, the Mayor’s Office released a summary report by KPMG on its analysis of the Center City Streetcar project. While it is still working on an analysis of the impact of buying longer, heavier streetcars, there’s plenty of other bad news, and no timeline for a decision on whether to continue forward with the project.
This year the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has heard two challenges to the City of Seattle’s ordinance authorizing collective bargaining for Uber and Lyft drivers. One was filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the other by a group of Uber and Lyft drivers. After back-to-back oral arguments in February, the appeals court ruled on the Chamber of Commerce case in May; it found that the ordinance was not exempt from the Sherman Antitrust Act. Today it handed down its ruling in the second case, affirming the district court’s dismissal of the case — a win for the city.
It’s been a frustrating couple of years for downtown bike commuters. After the city adopted the Center City Bike Network plan in 2016 with a goal of having the network implemented downtown by 2020, later that year it put the plan on hold while it worked on the “One Center City” plan. Then the One Center City plan came out last year, including a recommendation for a two-way protected bike lane along 4th Avenue to be implemented this year. But in April SDOT announced that the 4th avenue bike lane would be postponed until 2021, after the “period of maximum constraint.”
In response to outcry from the bicycle community, Council member Mike O’Brien has been negotiating with SDOT a resolution laying out a timeline for implementation of pieces of the center city bike network over the next few years. Today that resolution passed out of committee, and is headed for approval by the full Council on July 30th.
A proposed expansion of the city’s bike share pilot program passed out of committee this afternoon, even though two Council members believe it still needs work.
Two weeks ago, I reported that King County Metro had pulled the plug on an RFP for a transit-oriented development (TOD) project in Northgate, infuriating Council member Juarez.
Today the Seattle Times reports that in a letter to Juarez, her colleague Council member Mosqueda, and Mayor Durkan, the county has committed to issuing a new RFP by July 31st. It also says that the County land to be used for affordable housing must be provided to the nonprofit developer at no cost, and that the amount of required affordable housing units will be increased from what was in the original RFP.
UPDATED: This afternoon Juarez released a statement on King County’s decision:
“With two hospitals, a college and major a shopping center, Northgate is widely recognized as being important to the City as a whole. Today’s decision by the King County Executive further underscores that North Seattle can – and should – be a shining example for other neighborhoods and institutions who are watching to see how Northgate transit-oriented development will unfold and enhance the region,” said Debora Juarez, District 5 – North Seattle. “Furthermore NGTOD will serve as a model for development which can be replicated elsewhere around Seattle to include transit-oriented childcare and other aspects of city living that are vital to our region, including District 5.”
Today the City of Seattle filed a petition with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, asking it to rehear en banc the appeal of the ongoing lawsuit filed by Uber and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the city’s ordinance allowing Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize.
At the beginning of June, King County cancelled its pending RFP for a “transit-oriented development” (TOD) affordable-housing project on county-owned property next to the forthcoming Northgate light-rail station, and said that it would be starting over with the process. Council member Debora Juarez, whose District 5 includes Northgate, is fed up with the delays on the project, and she and other city leaders are giving King County Executive Dow Constantine an earful.