Category Archives: transportation

Council and SDOT establish timeline for downtown bike network buildout

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.

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County commits to new Northgate TOD RFP by end of month (UPDATED)

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.”

Northgate TOD project bogs down, and Juarez fumes

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.

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Changes to Transportation Benefit District voted out of committee

This afternoon, the Sustainability and Transportation Committee voted to recommend approval of some changes to the Seattle Transportation Benefit District plan. It includes a high-profile proposal from Mayor Durkan, and another interesting program that is slipping through almost unnoticed: a limited private bus system.

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9th Circuit rules on Uber union case

While everyone was watching the Council try to decide whether to impost a head tax, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made its own news today by ruling against the city in a case regarding its ordinance granting Uber and Lyft drivers the right to collective bargaining. But buried in the ruling is a legal precedent with potentially far greater impact.

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